HSE Students Recognized as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Five Students Selected Based on Academic History

Norah Wills

Hamilton Southeastern High School recognized five semifinalists for the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program Oct. 5.

Five seniors qualified as semifinalists: Suhita Chintalacharuvu, Chouchi Ding, Rachel Wan, Abby Williams, and Kamryn Williams. They were notified in late September of their achievement.

The students were selected from a pool of around 1.5 million students who took the PSAT/NMSQT in 2021. From this group, 50,000 high scorers were selected. Of these, there were 34,000 commended students, and 16,000 students were recognized as semifinalists. These are the highest-scoring applicants from each state.

On the morning of October 5, Reggie Simmons, HSE Principal, and Dr. Yvonne Stokes, HSE Superintendent, hosted a breakfast for the Semifinalists and their families to honor their accomplishment.

To be considered for the National Merit Scholarship, students must score in an above-average percentile on the PSAT. This doubles as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. “If you earn a certain score index, you qualify for the Semifinalist position,” Chintalacharuvu said.

The program was founded in 1955 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, an independent, not-for-profit organization, to acknowledge and award students who excel academically. Throughout the years, over 3.4 million students have been recognized by the corporation. The organization has awarded around 451,000 scholarships totaling over 1.8 billion dollars.

This year, of the 16,000 semifinalists, 15,000 of these students will qualify to be finalists, and from these, around 7,500 will be offered Merit Scholarships.

“[The scholarship] would be a huge reward for the work that I put into my academics,” Abby Williams said. “Having that title as a tangible achievement would mean the work is paying off.”