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17 seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Keeping up with tradition, seventeen students on campus were named National Merit Scholar Finalists, the most among all FISD high schools.

Henry Youtt

Keeping up with tradition, seventeen students on campus were named National Merit Scholar Finalists, the most among all FISD high schools.

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Names of this year’s semifinalists for the annual National Merit Scholarship Program were announced Wednesday with 17 of those names belonging to seniors on campus.

“I may not show it on my face-I’m not super emotional or anything-but I’m actually really excited because it’s nice to see that I’ve worked this hard,” senior Rohith Perumalla said. “It’s nice to see everything come to fruition especially as senioritis potentially begins to kick in so some positivity is always good.”

It’s nice to see everything come to fruition,”

— senior Rohith Perumalla

If chosen as finalists, the 17 students will compete for 7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million.

“If I get to be a finalist, that’ll be a lot of financial aid depending on what college I’m want to go to,” senior Daniel Woods said. “It opens a lot of doors that may have not been open before so I can get aid from potentially more colleges.”

These scholarships are underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation with its own funds and by about 420 business organizations with goals of “honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.”

“I am looking to go into the medical field so there’s a lot of schooling involved in that so as much scholarship money that I can get for undergrad,” senior Abby Dasgupta said. “To kind of alleviate the cost would be awesome so I’m really thankful for this opportunity.”

It opens a lot of doors that may have not been open before,”

— senior Daniel Woods

Preparation through practice tests were an integral part for some students.

“My sophomore year, once we got our results back, I remember on the CollegeBoard website they had a projected score and it was telling me if you worked on preparing and getting better your verbal and math you can get to this score and potentially get a National Merit scholarship,” Perumalla said. “Throughout the rest of the year, I had that at the back of my mind as I was preparing for the SAT and because they’re so similar, I also prepared for the PSAT and I think that helped me get to this point.”

The news was a nice surprise for semifinalists like Dasgupta.

“I’m really excited because when I got my scores back, I didn’t think it was good enough to be even a semifinalist,” Dasgupta said. “I’m happy that my work paid off.”

The 17 students named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are:

Deepti Aravapalli

Nirmal Bhatt

Arihant Bohara

Abhirupa Dasgupta

Havish Gattu

Aly Hirani

Sai Koukuntla

Jin Lee

Siddhi Patadia

Rohith Perumalla

Aishani Sil

Nivan Wadhawan

Ally Wong

Meghana Woodruff

Daniel Woods

Charles Yang

Irish Zhang

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17 seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists