These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. The nationwide pool of applicants is about 1.5 million, and the Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.
Semifinalist Smayan Sompalli encourages all students to take the PSAT, which qualifies you for the distinction. "It takes a bit of practice, studying, and maybe even a little bit of luck," said Sompalli. He plans to pursue a college education and career in Finance. Ananya Mahapatra echoes that sentiment. She plans to pursue a post-secondary education in pre-Law--one day becoming a lawyer.
"My parents encouraged me to push myself and to take ALL the opportunities," said Sydney Kong. She also added that determination and confidence can go along way when competing in academic scholarship contests. Kong plans to pursue a career in the organic chemistry field, preferably she hopes as a research scientist.
"Germantown School District is proud of the fact that we have eight students who qualified for National Merit Semifinalists this year. This is an exciting accomplishment for our students, but we are also proud of the fact this represents years of excellent education for these students. All of our educators and these students' families should be proud of the investments that they have made in these exceptional scholars," said Superintendent Jason Manuel.