Silver Chips Online

National Merit and National Achievement Scholarship semifinalists announced

A total of 48 semifinalists selected from Blair

By Hannah Lynn, Online Managing Editor
September 21, 2011
Last week, Forty-four Blair seniors were named semifinalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program (NMS). In addition, four more seniors were named semifinalists in the Nation Achievement Scholarship Program (NAS), a program similar to NMS for black students.

44 National Merit semifinalists and four National Achievement semifinalists were recognized from Blair. Leah Hammond
44 National Merit semifinalists and four National Achievement semifinalists were recognized from Blair.
National Merit Scholarship

Every September, around 16,000 semifinalists are announced by the Scholarship Program. Selections are made based on the top Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/ NMSQT) scores. To ensure that students from all over the country are recognized, semifinalists are chosen based on qualifying scores that vary among states, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website.

In February, around 15,000 students will be named as NMS finalists; each will then have the chance to move on to the final round. Finalists must complete a detailed application and submit an essay. Between March and June, around 8,300 NMS finalists will be selected to receive one of three scholarships: a $2,500 National Merit scholarship which can be used at the college of their choice, a corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship, which is usually given to the children of corporation employees, or a college-sponsored Merit Scholarship in which the student's college destination will fund the scholarship.

NMS semifinalist Becca Arbacher was happy to be recognized because she is constantly surrounded by high achieving students. “Getting high standardized test scores is something that I’m around a lot in the magnet,” Arbacher said. “But it was great that all my friends and teachers congratulated me and everything.”

Some of the semifinalists gathered to enjoy cake after their awards were announced. Leah Hammond
Some of the semifinalists gathered to enjoy cake after their awards were announced.
National Achievement Scholarship

On September 14, around 1,600 NAS semifinalists were announced. The 1,300 finalists will be announced in January. Around 800 finalists will be selected to receive either a $2,500 National Achievement scholarship or the college-sponsored Achievement Scholarship. In order to request entry into the NAS, the student must mark a special section on their PSAT/NMSQT to identify themselves as being African American.

Like Arbacher, NAS semifinalist Julian Lofton did not expect to qualify for the award. "I didn't really expect to be a semifinalist. They surprised me," he said. "It feels great to be recognized."

For more information about the NMS, click here. For more information about the NAS click here.

2012 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Melodi Anahtar
Michael Anderson
Rebecca Arbacher
Alla Avakova
Rajan Bal
Nicole Brimmer (who no longer attends Blair)
Laurel Brown
Hyung Byun
Richard Castagna
Robert Chen
Sailunsi Chen
Adam Ewel
Andrew Gilbert
David Grant
Justin Ho
Enoch Hsiao
Andrew Hu
Emily Hu
Amy Hu
Zoe Jackson
Elisa Johnson
David Kaufman
Lori Kaufman
Shiv Kaul
Gregory Kehne
Frederic Koehler
Maureen Lei
Sherman Leung
Austin Liou
Andrew Lu
Jessica Lu
Bartholomeus Machielse
Nathan Ng
Eszter Offertaler
Abigail Ostriker
Victoria Pai
Naomi Rubin
James Shepherdson
Maggie Shi
Sofi Sinozich
Brian Tien-Street
Jared Wang
Kathryn Waychoff
Colleen Weatherwax

2012 National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalists

Nicole Brimmer (who no longer attends Blair)
Sara Gonzalez
Julian Lofton
Alice Mukora

Editor's note: Melodi Anahtar is the Editor-in-Chief for Silver Chips Online. Nina Lu is the Technical Director of Silver Chips Online. Emily Hu is Online Art Editor. Maureen Lei is Managing News Editor of Silver Chips Print and Maggie Shi is Managing Op/Ed Editor of Silver Chips Print. Enoch Hsiao is a Silver Chips Print photo staffer.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/11085