Forty-three San Diego County students are among only 2,500 nationwide to be named 2017 National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners. The designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.
These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
NMSC finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
- Maria-Therese Aglialoro (St. Joseph Academy)
- Arielle Tovah Algaze (La Jolla Country Day School)
- Varkey T. Alumootil (Canyon Crest Academy)
- Emily Bi (Canyon Crest Academy)
- Lillian Bu (Del Norte High School)
- Dominic H. Catanzaro (Cathedral Catholic High School)
- Heloise Carion (La Jolla High School)
- Kevin Chen (The Bishop's School)
- Kaumron K. Eidgahy (Del Norte High School)
- Ryan T. Feng (The Bishop's School)
- Haoran Guo (La Jolla High School)
- Alexander V. Hong (Torrey Pines High School)
- Rachel Y. Hong (The Bishop's School)
- Emily Hou (Torrey Pines High School)
- Michael T. Huang (Scripps Ranch High School)
- Brian Sanyu Huo (Del Norte High School)
- Amy K. Jeon (Torrey Pines High School)
- Qixuan Jin (Torrey Pines High School)
- Sophia G. Kazmierowicz (Canyon Crest Academy)
- Andrew D. Kim (Canyon Crest Academy)
- Noah S. Kuo (Pacific Ridge School)
- Katie H. Lam (Del Norte High School)
- Albert J. Lee (Del Norte High School)
- Ellen Lee (Bonita Vista High School)
- Hyunjae Lee (Del Norte High School)
- Joyce Li (Torrey Pines High School)
- Zoe R. Li (Mount Carmel High)
- Kevin T. Lin (Canyon Crest Academy)
- Catherine X. Lu (Torrey Pines High School)
- Andrew J. Nathenson (San Diego High School, School of International Studies)
- Kalyani Ramadurgam (Torrey Pines High School)
- Jessalyn N. Sebastian (San Pasqual High School)
- Vivian W. Shing (Canyon Crest Academy)
- Julia N. Wagner (La Costa Canyon High School)
- Dimei M. Wu (Torrey Pines High School)
- Brian S. Xia (Canyon Crest Academy)
- April L. Xie (Del Norte High School
- Chelsea Xu (Torrey Pines High School)
- Simon Yei (La Costa Canyon High School)
- Caroline C. Zhang (Torrey Pines High School)
- Yue Jia Zhang (Canyon Crest Academy)
- Julia J. Zhou (Torrey Pines High School)
About the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition
This year's National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2015 when over 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation's high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis. Only these 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2017 program, about 7,500 Finalists will have earned the "Merit Scholar" title and received a total of over $32 million in college scholarships.
NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of scholarships offered each year are underwritten by approximately 420 independent corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC's goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and encouraging academic excellence at all levels of education.