National Merit Semifinalists/Commended Students
Sixteen Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been designated as National Merit Semifinalists and nine have been named Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The Semifinalists from Fox Chapel Area High School are: Isabel Acevedo, Jessica Berg, Madelyn Coulson, Christopher Esch, Conor Gaffney, David Humphrey, Nicola Lee-Oesterreich, Shaina Munin, Stephen Polcyn, Sophie Rodosky, Anja Schempf, Sreeroopa Som, James Thomson, Daly Trimble, Konrad Urban, and Spencer Williams. The Commended Students from Fox Chapel Area High School are: Maria Burns, Ishan Khatri, Julia Lynch, Levi McCrady, Amanda Puthenpurayil, Siddharth Rajupet, Margot Savin, Priyanka Shah, and Emily Trageser.
All of these students were selected based on their 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores. Each year college-bound 11th grade students complete the PSAT/NMSQT. About than 1.5 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 about 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be offered in the spring of 2016.
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.