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FCAHS Students Named National Merit Semifinalists, Commended Students

Fourteen Fox Chapel Area High School seniors have been designated as National Merit Semifinalists, and 12 have been named Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).  

The Semifinalists from Fox Chapel Area High School are Paige AsburyAmelia Bothe, Hanna ChenJ. Oliver ChooHazel ClineOskar ErnharthClaire Fenton, Rajeev Godse, Noah Hertzman, Christiana Paljug, Sina Shaikh, Jake Sperry, Felix Veser, and Aaron Wu. The Commended Students from Fox Chapel Area High School are Jackson BoychukRachel FerrisEvan GuAbigail MillerZeynep OzkayaLeda Perdriel-AronsAnzu SekikawaDavid ShinShane SusnakAmeya Velankar,William Wang, and Michael Weiss.  

All of these students were selected based on their 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores. Each year, college-bound 11th-grade students complete the PSAT/NMSQT. The more than 1.5 million juniors who take the test are automatically enrolled in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Approximately 16,000 advance to become Semifinalists, and about 34,000 are Commended. The Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, and the Commended Students represent the top 5 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 or ACT 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 approximately 7,600 National Merit Scholarship awards worth more than $31 million.