By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Vandegrift has a number of seniors in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program based on their outstanding performances on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Sixteen Viper students are National Merit Semifinalists, 40 are National Merit Commended Scholars, and 15 are National Hispanic Scholars.
“Recognition as a National Merit Scholar is a prestigious, academic accolade,” said Christa Thompson-Martin, dean of instruction at VHS. “By sharing this distinguished achievement with college admissions, our students are set apart in a deep pool of applicants.”
Thompson-Martin said that the benefits of scoring well can be significant.
“Our Viper alum have been awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships all the way to full-rides to universities across the country on merit of becoming a National Merit Finalist and National Hispanic Scholar,” she said.
Nationwide, there are approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
According to the National Merit Scholarship Corp., these academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered this spring.
About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
Viper students who qualified as National Merit Semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors who scored a 221 or higher on the PSAT they took their junior year.
Vandegrift’s National Merit Commended Scholars are students who placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.6 million students for more than 22,000 high schools who entered the National Merit competition by taking the PSAT in the fall of their junior year.
VHS also celebrates its National Hispanic Scholars who were identified through the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program. This program identifies academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students on their PSAT performance. Each year, the program honors 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from over 250,000 Hispanic/Latino seniors who ranked among the highest on their junior year PSAT.
The scholarly Vipers were recognized during halftime at the Nov. 9 football game.
“We are so proud of their hard work and dedication to academics,” Thompson-Martin said.
National Merit Commended Scholars
E CHING RYAN LEUNG
National Merit Semifinalists
DARIA FONTANI HERREROS
National Hispanic Scholars
ALLISON Y OSORIO
DARIA FONTANI HERREROS
ISRAEL RAMIREZ II