Six of Princeton Day School's finest have been named semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program: Seniors Nina Kanamaluru '19, Rakesh Potluri '19, Angela Talusan '19, Rebecca Tang '19, Jacob Tharayil '19, and Elsie Wang '19. These students are among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists named nationwide this year, moving each of them a step further in their quest to qualify for one of roughly 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth a total of about $31 million that will be offered in the spring.
Less than 1% of students have been named semifinalists from the more than 1.6 million who first entered the 2019 National Merit program by taking the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In New Jersey, as in every state, the number of state semifinalists is also proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
Sponsored by the not-for-profit National Merit Scholarship Corp, in Evanston, IL, the program requires applicants to submit an extensive application that includes recommendations and an essay along with their academic record and subsequent SAT scores, school and community involvement, jobs, demonstrations of leadership, and honors and awards.
Of the 16,000 semifinalists, more than 90% are expected to be selected in February 2019 as finalists. Winners of the scholarships and Merit Scholar designation will be selected from the group of finalists, and will be announced in stages from April to July, 2019.
Congratulations on achieving semifinalist status, Nina, Rakesh, Angela, Rebecca, Jacob and Elsie! -Melanie Shaw
Photo caption: PDS National Merit Scholar Semifinalists, seated l to r: Rebecca Tang, Jacob Tharayil and Nina Kanamaluru; standing l to r: Rakesh Potluri, Angela Talusan, Elsie Wang.