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National Merit Scholarship Program honors 37 Madison seniors as Merit Semifinalists

MADISON – High-achieving teenagers in Madison have claimed an impressive number of slots as 2022 National Merit Semifinalists with the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

In this iteration of awards, a total of 37 students in Madison have achieved status of National Merit Semifinalists — 18 students from James Clemens High School, 19 teens from Bob Jones High School.

Semifinalists from James Clemens are Om N. Badhe, Aaron J. Brighta, Grace A. Cardinale, Adeleine E. Chatterton, William D. Fox, Tyler D. Gohlich, Sarah Guo, Sydney Y. Hur, Afolabi A. Idowu, One Kim, Yewon Lee, Haripriya Mantraratnam, Joshua T. Murphree, Minh A. Phan, Santosh S. Sadasivam, Kaija K. Sorensen, Grant C. Spivey and Sarah K. Vaughan.

Bob Jones semifinalists include Elise P. Baumgartner, Xueer Chen, James M. Clark, James D. Garrison, Yashas Gentela, Kailyn R. Grant, Benjamin A. Gunasekaran, Jonathan A. Gunasekaran, Benjamin J. Kosan, Everett N. Krome, Maanasi A. Limaye, Thomas M. Nguyen, Diane D. Pham, Aubteen Pour-Biazar, Dalton P. Shurtz, Collin M. Spindle, Brandon R. Todd, Mike R. Zhang and Lillian X. Zhu.

These talented high school seniors now can continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships. In spring 2022, the program will award approximately $30 million. For award consideration, a Semifinalist must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level.

The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors; these students are 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. This filing will state the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, proven abilities in leadership, employment history and honors and awards.

A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, receive endorsement and recommendation by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, approximately 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. The program will notify advancing students in February 2022.

For more information, visit nationalmerit.org.

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