Home NEWS Schools Ninety-Six Contra Costa Kids Among Semifinalists For National Merit Scholarship Program

Ninety-Six Contra Costa Kids Among Semifinalists For National Merit Scholarship Program

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PLEASANT HILL, Calif. – September 21, 2020 – Recently, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These 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.  

Contra Costa County is well-represented with 96 semifinalists (student names, schools, and towns listed below). 

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfil several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent 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.  

“We could not be prouder of our county’s National Merit Scholarship semifinalists,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “This past school year has been a very busy and challenging period for our honored group, yet they found the time to file a comprehensive scholarship registration form and write a detail essay, while also maintaining a stellar academic record, earning scholastic awards and honors, and much more. We also salute these students’ families and teachers for their support.” 

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. To learn more about the NMSC, please visit their website

 Program Steps in the 2021 Competition  

More than 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 (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent 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.  

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.  

National Merit Scholarships  

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2021. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.  

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 

This year’s Contra Costa County NMSC semifinalists:    

BRENTWOOD 

HERITAGE H.S. 

Wallace, Spencer E. 

CONCORD 

DE LA SALLE H.S. 

Vaughn, Ryan J. 

YGNACIO VALLEY H.S.

Truong, Zia

DANVILLE 

ATHENIAN SCHOOL 

Liu, Sarah Mia S. 

Maram, Alekhya 

Shah, Adit A. 

Zarbock, Radman T. 

MONTE VISTA H.S. 

Fattah, Zaid I. 

He, Daniel 

Kim, Joel S. 

Li, Sean J. 

Thilak, Rashmin 

Toliver, Alicia K. 

SAN RAMON VALLEY H.S. 

Bray, Daniel G. 

Ge, Izabella 

Traore, Ynes T. 

EL CERRITO  

EL CERRITO H.S. 

Lewis, Zachary 

Merish Rose, Sophia 

Norena, Carlos 

Williams, Samuel 

SUMMIT K2 

Hung, Clara 

LAFAYETTE 

ACALANES H.S. 

Feinberg, Kai W. 

Lattin, Jamie E. 

Mason, Morgan T. 

Orlando, Isaiah F. 

Payne, Madison A. 

Steele, Jackson R. 

BENTLEY SCHOOL 

Kocs-Meyers, Dora M. 

McManus, Nathaniel A. 

MORAGA 

CAMPOLINDO H.S. 

Heidersbach, Zoe J. 

Liao, Joshua R. 

Seo, Noel J. 

Stoyanov, Hari T. 

ORINDA 

HOMESCHOOL 

Armstrong, Jack E. 

Schroff, Jerrae C. 

MIRAMONTE H.S. 

Foster, Jenna Q. 

Morganstein, Joshua T. 

Nibley, Preston C. 

Svahn, Sarah H. 

Yu, Edwin Y. 

PLEASANT HILL 

COLLEGE PARK H. S. 

Benabou, Samuel E. 

Holden, Nathaniel 

SAN RAMON 

CALIFORNIA H. S. 

Barranco Gonzalez, Andrea 

Ganesan, Sriram 

Gupta, Bhavya 

Pasula, Shamith S. 

Puliyadi, Vikram K. 

Thomas, Nathaniel 

Wang, Alexis J. 

DOUGHERTY VALLEY H. S. 

Anand, Kavya 

Balaji, Nisha 

Bhat, Savit 

Chalamcharla, Akhil 

Chatterjee, Aniket 

Chen, Kevin 

Chen, Steven L. 

Dickenson, Ian A. 

Garg, Arjun 

Goyal, Sumedha 

Iyengar, Aniketh N. 

Kesani, Pranav S. 

Kolli, Sumanth 

Lahorani, Anish 

Lee, Joseph G. 

Li, Eric F. 

Lim, Ian 

LuoZhang, David Zhi 

Moon, Kenneth H. 

Nagapuri, Shruthi 

Padisetti, Vedasamhitha 

Pang, Darren S. 

Patel, Aryan 

Raju, Aditi 

Ramesh, Amritha 

Ranganathan, Sanjana 

Ravikumar, Shreya 

Sharma, Sonal 

Shi, Katherine 

Su, Stephanie F. 

Sunder, Ajitesh 

Vummarao, Salika 

Wang, David 

Wang, Timothy Y. 

Ying, Joy W. 

Yoo, John 

Zeng, William W. 

Zhang, Claire Z. 

Zhang, Jennifer J. 

Zhang, Paul Z. 

WALNUT CREEK 

LAS LOMAS H. S. 

Melin, Samantha N. 

Wang, Andrew Z. 

Xie, Emily 

NORTHGATE H. S. 

Arona, James Kyle A. 

Balashov, Alexis 

Lee, Natasha J. 

Nordberg, Ingrid E. 

Wang, Caroline X. 

 -end- 

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