Rockville Schools Have 40 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Montgomery County Public Schools account for more than 40 percent of Maryland's total of semifinalists in the national scholarship competition.


Students from two Rockville schools accounted for 40 of the 137 students from Montgomery County Public Schools named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, the school system announced this week.

The MCPS semifinalists come from 12 high schools and are competing nationally for scholarships, which are awarded in the spring.

The scholarship competition is open to the roughly 1.5 million high school students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors in 2011.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation uses the test to screen entrants to the scholarship competition.

Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. They are among the highest scoring entrants in each state, proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

“The state of Maryland has a total of 323 semifinalists, meaning MCPS accounts for more than 40 percent of the state’s total semifinalists,” the school system said in a news release.

To become a finalist, semifinalists and their high schools submit applications detailing the student’s academic record, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, honors and awards. Students also must 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,” according to a National Merit Scholarship Corporation news release.

About 15,000 of the 16,000 semifinalists are expected to become finalists. Finalists, who will be announced in February, are considered for $2,500 National Merit scholarships, as well as other corporate-sponsored and college/university-sponsored scholarships. 

The semifinalists from Rockville schools are:

  • Matthew Mitchell Benjamin
  • Dalia S. Berkowitz
  • Samuel L. Deutsch
  • Srihari Devaraj
  • Allison B. Febrey
  • Lara R. Haft
  • Sun Min Hong
  • Ariel Hsu
  • Sofia H. Hu
  • Emily K. Jiang
  • Fiona V. Lam
  • Alan Y. Lang
  • Amy Liang
  • Jonathan Philip Marx
  • Joshua E. McCurry
  • Marni L. Morse
  • Rachel H. Odessey
  • Taiyuan Pai
  • Ankit K. Sarkar
  • Errin T. Saunders
  • Arvind K. Srinivasan
  • Matthew C. Szwerc
  • Joseph Wu
  • Megan C. Yan
  • Kathleen Yu
  • David Zhang

  • Amal Dadi
  • Austin Yi Feng
  • Souvik Ghosh
  • Michelle Angela He
  • Christina I. Hwang
  • Chong Li
  • Sophie M. Li
  • Kathleen Y. Lu
  • Yanhong Lu
  • Cara T. Lwin
  • Susan J. McGrattan
  • Yini Qi
  • Heidi J. Shiau
  • Eric Cui Yi


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