2017 National Merit Semifinalists/Commended Students

Fourteen Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been designated as National Merit Semifinalists and 18 have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The Semifinalists from Fox Chapel Area High School are Rohan Chalasani, Mihir Garimella, David Han, Elizabeth Heidenreich, Yelim Lee, Darwin Leuba, William Marsh, Tanvi Meringenti, Suvir Mirchandani, Grace Mueller, Hannah Mueller, Mary Clare O’Connor, Ellen Pil, and Kai Shaikh. The Commended Students from Fox Chapel Area High School are Jared Cohen, Alec Eckman, John Feczko, Katherine Kauma, Sophia Lee, Victor Marculescu, Sean McCoy, Jonathan Monroe, Emma Paulini, Avalon Perdriel-Arons, John Ramassini, Bryce Ryan, Caroline Smith, Philip Swigon, Martin Taxay, Nathan Wecht, Bohan Yao, and Houruiyang Zong.

All of these students were selected based on their 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores. Each year college-bound 11th grade students complete the PSAT/NMSQT. About 1.6 million juniors who take the test are automatically enrolled in the National Merit Scholarship Program and approximately 16,000 advance to become Semifinalists and about 34,000 are Commended. The Semifinalists represent less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors and the Commended Students represent the top five percent. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Commended Students are recognized for their exceptional academic promise. The Semifinalists now have the opportunity to advance to the Finalist level and compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million to be offered in the spring of 2017.

The NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.