Local semifinalists named in National Merit Scholarship Program

Photo courtesy of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation

This week, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, including many from southern Denton County.

The academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring, according to a NMSC news release. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. Over 90% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.

Here are the southern Denton County students who have been named semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program:

Coram Deo Academy

  • Ethan Joseph

Flower Mound High School

  • Isabel Baron
  • Gautam Bhaskar
  • Grace Cao
  • Jingying Cao
  • Abhinav Chadaga
  • Jonathan Cluff
  • Jared Dasher
  • Sloan Davis
  • Suchir Dhurjati
  • Tarik Ehsan
  • Hayley Epps
  • Anna Ernst
  • Mishika Govil
  • Anya Gupta
  • Jacob Holt
  • Mark Horner
  • Shashank Iswara
  • Samarth Kamat
  • Bhavyasri Kasu
  • Mincheol Kim
  • Anshika Kondala
  • Ira Kondap
  • Kriti Kumar
  • Jeffrey Liu
  • Arshad Manzar
  • Ashna Mulastanam
  • Aniket Pal
  • Cullen Pipkin
  • Santana Poonuru
  • Raul Santos
  • Sean Sepdham
  • Rupin Vaidya
  • Julia Vasconcellos
  • Shruti Vummadising
  • Jeffrey Zhang

Guyer High School

  • Colton Kelley
  • Gavin Money

Marcus High School

  • Ian Farrar
  • Alec Farris
  • Boris-Jerrell Fosso
  • Alyena Gilani
  • Kaleb Moberg
  • Jaxson Myrick
  • Donald Raymond
  • Sridhar Pranav
  • Catherine Vickers
  • Luke Wacker
  • Alexandra Warren
  • Neha Yawalkar

Steele High School

  • George Peterson
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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