Silver Chips Online

Blazers advance in scholarship competition

Funding for higher education will be awarded to finalists

By Julia Wynn, Online Connections and Food Editor
September 17, 2009
The National Merit Scholarship Program has selected 53 Blair seniors as semifinalists for the 2010 National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Competition, a contest that awards $2,500 - 5,000 in scholarship funding to finalists. Five seniors are semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship (NAS) Competition, a similar contest for black students that provides $2,500 in scholarship money. A school-wide announcement on Wednesday publicized the names of all semifinalists.

Semifinalists were chosen based on their scores on the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test administered last year.

Elaine Lin
Out of the 1.5 million students that take the PSAT each year, only 50,000 score high enough to gain NMS recognition. Of the 50,000 students, 16,000 meet the score cutoff to be named semifinalists. For NAS, about 1,600 semifinalists are chosen yearly out of the 150,000 qualifying students. Individual states set their own cutoff for high scores, ensuring that semifinalists are chosen from all parts of the U.S. In Maryland, semifinalists this year achieved a 221 or higher on their PSAT, according to resource counselor Marcia Johnson.

Some 15,000 finalists will be chosen from the semifinalists in February and given a certificate. Finalists will be determined after the program reviews the transcripts, extracurricular activities and counselor recommendations of semifinalists, according to Johnson.

Last year 43 Blazers became NMS semifinalists and only three were NAS semifinalists.

For more information about the scholarships, visit the NMS web site and the NAS web site.

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists:
Alexander Bae
Stephen Carlson
Deepa Chellappa
Wenjing Chen
Lawrence Cho
Angela Choi
Michael Cohen
Roger Curley
Sophia Deng
Adam Detzner
Jeremy Fallick
Richard Higgins
Jacob Hurwitz
Andrew Hyder
Lena Jia
Diana Jing
Emily Jones
Matthew kannan
Pin-Joe Ko
Victoria Lai
Timothy Lee
Yifan Li
Elaine Lin
Haozhi Lin
Amy Liu
Siqing Liu
Li Ma
Meredith Metcalf
Urja Mittal
Nils Molina
Joel Muskin-Pierret
Andrea Ng
Rebecca Novello
Joseph Owen
Anand Oza
Caroline Pitt
Rohan Puttagunta
Peter Qiao
Xinhong Qiu
Benjamin Shaya
Michelle Shen
Elissa Shiau
Xinyi Sui
David Tao
Claire Teitelbaum
David Tolnay
Jeremy Tousley
Jennifer Wang
Yi Xiao
Scott Yu
Chenmuren Zhang
Devin Zhang
Scott Zimmerman

National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalists:
Elfalem Alemu
Redab Alnifaidy
Alex Kapiamba
Kamal Ndousse
Jasmine Sarjeant

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/9341