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75 Fort Bend ISD students named semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit® Scholarship Program (9/19/2022) 

75 Fort Bend ISD students named semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit® Scholarship Program


Fort Bend ISD (September 19, 2022) – Seventy-five Fort Bend ISD high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit® Scholarship Program, making FBISD the district with more students on the list by far than any other school system in the area.


They are among 16,000 semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented students have an opportunity to continue in the competition and win  one of the 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million combined. The awards  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. About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will go on to win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.  


Here are the FBISD students who have been named as semifinalists:

Austin High School – Ananya Gokul, Jingyi Qu, Colin Tan, Luke Zhang


Clements High SchoolAdhwita Anand, Alex Bao, Arnan Bawa, Amy Chang, Justin Chang, Shriman Chittoor, Joshua Cote, Carlos Cruz, Jessye Fan, Yifei Fang, Sammi Guse, Stacey Hay, Niyati Jain, Kyren Khairah, Akaash Kolluri, William Liaw, Anna Lin, Andrew Lu, Thomas Palakapilly, Anisha Parsan, Diego Rico, Hanyang Sha, Iyan Sonesra, Ziana Sundrani, John Tian, Angela Wang, Rich Wang, Leul Wosenseged, Kirthi Yadavalli, Alex Zhang, David Zhang, Evan Zhang, Alice Zhong, Runyan



Dulles High School – Adarsh Agrawal, Paula Alexander, Rohan Arulkumar, Anaya Bawiskar, Michelle Chen, Caitlyn Cheng, Jasmine Chou, Sahil Chowdhury, Siddarth Das, Tony Dong, Manav Gandhi, Ved Ganesh, Suhani Goswami, Akshay Gupta, Emily Huo, Tejas Kalpathi, Ashley Kurian, Lauren Light, Justin Lin, Kyler Mitra, Vishnu Nataraja, Neil Nimmagadda, Raina Patel, Sophia Phu, Anuj Shah, Rushil Shah, Adarsh Thomas, Bhargav Vaidya, Noah Yu, Katherine Yue, Michael Zhu


Elkins High School – Vishaka Bhora, Kareena Kamal, Arjun Singh, Alison Zeng


Kempner High School – Kent Le


Ridge Point High School – Ian Cochran



Steps in the 2023 Competition


High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 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 earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.


From over 16,000 semifinalists, more than 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 on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.


National Merit Scholarships


Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2023. EveryfFinalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 950 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 180 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 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.


National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join nearly 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.


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