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D-86 students selected as National Merit semifinalists

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 1:24 p.m. CDT

HINSDALE – A host of students from Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South high schools were on the list when officials from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced Wednesday the names of about 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 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. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Semifinalists from Hinsdale South High School include: Alexander Gomez, Apurva Jolepalem, Diana Joseph, Christina Papari and Nivedita Sriram.

Semifinalists from Hinsdale Central include: Naveen Balaji, Vinay Basti, Devon Chenelle, Sarita Deshpande, Emily Ding, Jing Gao, Elizabeth Hamp, Margaret Hu, Qian Hu, Danmei Huang, Saba Imran, Julian Kanagy, Smriti Kanangat, Samantha Lagestee, Chetna Mahajan, Eileen Malecki, Christian Meyer, Nikol Pervan, Emmanuel Proussaloglou, Rahul Ramani, Shreya Rao, Elijah Seo, Alexandra Solovyev, Caroline Sudduth, Caitlin Wong, Zoe Wong and Edward Xie.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and their high school 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 scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

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