Four Shady Side Academy seniors were named finalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented students will be considered for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered this spring. There are approximately 15,000 finalists nationwide. The SSA finalists are:
- Akshay Amesur
- Nicole Caputo
- Arusha Nirvan
- Giri Viswanathan
These students were among 1.6 million high school juniors who entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. A nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists was chosen in September, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.
To advance to the finalist stage, semifinalists had to demonstrate an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a school official, write an essay, earn SAT scores that confirmed the performance on the qualifying test, and submit a detailed scholarship application.
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered this spring. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships, awarded on a state representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships will be awarded to finalists who meet the sponsoring organization's criteria. About 190 colleges will award 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarships to finalists who attend the sponsor institution.
Congratulations to all four students!