20 Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists or Commended Students

Ishika AroraLuke Brennan
Joshua CastroCaroline Green
Tyler HartGabi Jegasothy
Will KaretAndrew Liu
Zhuoxin MaEve Mango
Jason VaskoJason Wu
NIck ZanaQingqing Zhao

Alexander BiglanAnnabel Everett
Hannah RomoffJulia Roupe
Katie SparveroXinran Wang

Fourteen members of the Shady Side Academy Class of 2021 were named semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented seniors will continue in the competition for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring.

The SSA semifinalists are:

  • Ishika Arora
  • Luke Brennan
  • Joshua Castro
  • Caroline Green
  • Tyler Hart
  • Gabriela Jegasothy
  • Will Karet
  • Andrew Liu
  • Zhuoxin Ma
  • Eve Mango
  • Jason Vasko
  • Zewei "Jason" Wu
  • Nicholas Zana
  • Qingqing Zhao

The nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state on the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

More than 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to attend finalist standing, and about half will win National Merit Scholarships. To become a finalist, the semifinalist must submit a detailed scholarship application, have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by a school official and write an essay. Scholarship winners will be announced from April through July 2021.

In addition, six seniors were named Commended Students in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program in recognition of their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students represent the remaining 34,000 of the 50,000 highest scorers on the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT.

Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some become candidates for special corporate-sponsored scholarships.

SSA's Commended Students are:

  • Alexander Biglan
  • Annabel Everett
  • Hannah Romoff
  • Julia Roupe
  • Catherine Sparvero
  • Xinran "Nancy" Wang

Congratulations to all 20 members of the Class of 2021!

Learn more about the National Merit Scholarship program.

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