Pearland ISD students to compete for National Merit scholarships

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Thirteen Pearland Independent School District students are competing as semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Semifinalists include Pearland High School’s Omar Abdelaziz and Shivam Dave and Dawson High School’s Milton Cousins, Pallavi Dev, Jonathan Jackson, Alexandra Morano, Jennifer Nguyen, Swetha Ramamurthy, Jordan Todes, Daniel Wu, Patrick Wu, Sharon Yang and Lucia Zhan.

These students number among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide thanks to high scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test during their junior year.

Over the past five years, Pearland ISD has witnessed an increase in National Merit semifinalists and finalists. This year marks the greatest achievement yet with 13 semifinalists:

2012-13: 11 semifinalists and 11 finalists

2011-12: 6 semifinalists and 6 finalists

2010-11: 7 semifinalists and 6 finalists

2009-10: 3 semifinalists and 2 finalists

2008-09: 10 semifinalists and 10 finalists

About National Merit Scholarship Program

More than 1.5 million students in about 22,000 high schools entered this year’s scholarship program. The semifinalists, who represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, include the highest-scoring test-takers in each state.

Finalists will compete for approximately 8,000 National Merit scholarships worth about $35 million next spring. Merit Scholars are selected for their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

To become Merit Scholar finalists, semifinalists must have outstanding academic records throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their principals and earn high SAT scores. In addition, they must show leadership experience in school and community activities.

Finalists will compete for the following awards:

  • 2,500 National Merit scholarships (worth $2,500 each) awarded on a state-representational basis
  • 1,000 corporate-sponsored National Merit scholarships provided by approximately 240 corporations/business organizations
  • 4,500 college-sponsored National Merit scholarships from 200 colleges and universities for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution
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