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 31 San Diego County Students Awarded 2020 National Merit Scholarships

Yesterday, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced this year's National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2020 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 the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

Congratulations to these San Diego County students:

Analiese R. Beeler
Classical Academy High School
Connie ChenCanyon Crest Academy
Julia M. ChenThe Bishop's School
Richard D. ChenWestview High School
Kimberly A. CheungPacific Ridge School
Matthew Joseph Joyce WirtzLa Jolla Country Day School
Gabrielle Y. KangCanyon Crest Academy
Frederick LiuScripps Ranch High School
Justin R. LoboThe Bishop's School
Samantha S. LowSage Creek High School
Kainoa R. MacDonaldFrancis W. Parker High School
Nora A. MousaDel Norte High School
Haylie N. MurraySan Marcos High School
Pallavi MurthyFrancis W. Parker High School
Sumith R. NalaboluTorrey Pines High School
Nathan S. NashCathedral Catholic High School
Seonggeun B. ParkOlympian High School
Pranav PatilDel Norte High School
Daniel J. PaulCathedral Catholic High School
Nils P. RoedeCathedral Catholic High School
Shravya SanigepalliScripps Ranch High School
Tobey E. ShimThe Bishop's School
Raymond Yuanrui SongCanyon Crest Academy
Thomas B. SottosantiThe Bishop's School
Keerthana SundarDel Norte High School
Mira A. SurCanyon Crest Academy
Andrew F. WangDel Norte High School
Samuel Z. XiongCanyon Crest Academy
Sonia S. YanCanyon Crest Academy
Wendy A. YangLa Jolla Country Day School
Aidan ZhangTorrey Pines High School

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2018 when over 1.5 million juniors in approximately 21,000 high schools took the 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 2020 program, about 7,600 finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $30 million in college scholarships.

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.

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 400 independent corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC’s goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and encouraging academic excellence at all levels of education.