70 Cobb Schools Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Seventy students from the Cobb County School District made the semifinalist list. 

With 35 students on the list, Walton High School was among the Georgia high schools with the most National Merit semifinalists this year. Wheeler High School was close behind with 21 semifinalists. The other Cobb schools with semifinalists include Campbell High School, Harrison High School, Hillgrove High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School, Lassiter High School, Pope High School, and Sprayberry High School.  

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.

Last school year, 22 Cobb students earned National Merit Scholarships.

About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing this year, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and learn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February, they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2022. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Cobb County School District National Merit Semifinalists: 

Campbell High School

Aurora, Sameer

Lee, Lauren Y

Harrison High School

Hendershot, Andrew

Hillgrove High School

Tran, Ky N.

Kennesaw Mountain High School

Flanagan, Noah E.

Guntupalli, Soumit

McKee, Ryan R.

Varela, Dandre O.

Woodham, Paige M.

Lassiter High School

161 Hussain, Faaris

Pope High School

Astorga, Patrick M.

Oloyede, Oluwaseminire A.

Stewart, Madeleine M.

Sprayberry High School

Scott, Bradley

Walton High School

Akram, Zain M.

Arshavsky, Mark

Bergman, Stephanie

Cai, Lawrence J.

Choi, Wonho

Felix, Fevin

Guo, Fiona P.

Handa, Sahil J.

Handa, Samir

Henry, Katelyn L.

Jacobson, Ryann A.

Jain, Saloni

Joshi, Chinmay P.

Katta, Aadi

Kim, Sungwon

Kona, Abhinav

Kona, Abhishek

Leamy, Maxwell E.

Liu, Daniel Y.

Malepati, Vikas

Mocklar, Ana E.

Peng, Cynthia

Pirani, Imaan A.

Ravirala, Neerav

Roy, Aryan

Shivaram, Advaith

Shu, Jonathan

Siddiqui, Nairita S.

Thomas, Lawrence A.

Tong, Kunling

Vittal, Abhay R.

Walter, Joseph M.

Yamin, Asad

Zeng, Emma L.

Zhao, Franklin S.

Wheeler High School

Baghel, Rhea

Bauer, Evan

Bhatia, Smera V.

Devarinti, Pranav R.

Dewan, Arjun J.

Felton, Carson D.

Francis, Angela M.

Goli, Archishma V.

Hampton, Kyle A.

Iyer, Samyukta S.

Iyer, Sujit

Jewel, William P.

Jin, Charlie J.

Kar, Kavita

Kulasiri, Nelitha E.

Mirkhelkar, Nishka

Narayanan, Achyutan T.

Shastri, Vijay

Shetty, Chirag

Teng, Emma G.

Tetali, Satya S.