Eight Reedy Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Some of Reedy's National Merit Semifinalists discuss their background and how they achieved this accomplishment

Aneesha%2C+Caleb%2C+and+Matthew+%28pictured%29+and+Masaraat%2C+Yedu%2C+Pranav%2C+Grace%2C++and+Sarah+are+recipients+of+the+National+Merit+Semifinalist+title
Back to Article
Back to Article

Eight Reedy Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Aneesha, Caleb, and Matthew (pictured) and Masaraat, Yedu, Pranav, Grace,  and Sarah are recipients of the National Merit Semifinalist title

Aneesha, Caleb, and Matthew (pictured) and Masaraat, Yedu, Pranav, Grace, and Sarah are recipients of the National Merit Semifinalist title

Katharine Walker

Aneesha, Caleb, and Matthew (pictured) and Masaraat, Yedu, Pranav, Grace, and Sarah are recipients of the National Merit Semifinalist title

Katharine Walker

Katharine Walker

Aneesha, Caleb, and Matthew (pictured) and Masaraat, Yedu, Pranav, Grace, and Sarah are recipients of the National Merit Semifinalist title

Katharine Walker, Editor-in-chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






     Eight seniors were bestowed the honor of the National Merit Semifinalist award, a highly prestigious achievement that looks good on any type of resume and brings respect and recognition to schools across the country. Every student in the U.S. is eligible for this award after taking the PSAT during their high school career. Reedy’s seminfinalists include Masaraat Asif, Aneesha Baral, Caleb Biddulph, Yedu Chimmiri, Pranav Eswaran, Grace Shin, Sarah Varghese, and Matthew Zhang.

     “They pulled us all into the counselor’s office when we found out,” Aneesha Baral said. “I was really happy when I learned that I made National Merit Semifinalist.”

     Becoming a National Merit Semifinalist enables students to obtain scholarships for college after high school. In order to get there, some might need to prepare themselves beforehand. Matthew Zhang attributes his success for “taking classes above his grade level, especially mathematics.”

     “Getting to be a semifinalist is something that I can put on my resume,” Biddulph said. “It’s something that will make applying to colleges a bit easier.”

     Each semifinalist has the opportunity to be recognized as finalists. The National Merit Scholarship website predicts that 90 percent of the now named semifinalists have the chance to attain finalist standings, and of those numbers, approximately half will obtain a National Merit Scholarship, and are granted the title of Merit Scholar.

     “You can get scholarship money out of this, too,” Baral said. “If you are applying to out of state colleges, this makes it easier to afford that education. You also have the chance to eventually get Merit Scholar.”

     Of the 1.6 million entries every year, 50,000 students are selected nationally to be eligible for the National Merit program, and of that number, one third are elected as semifinalists, which is 1 percent of the total applicants.

     “Even though I won National Merit Semifinalist, it’s just something that I felt I didn’t need to prepare for,” Zhang said. “I guess it was just based on my natural intuition at that time. I’m not saying that others should wing it like I did.”

     Plans after high school are the next big step Reedy’s National Merit Semifinalists have in mind. All of them are currently in the process of researching and applying to colleges.

     “I want to go into the field computer science,” Biddulph said. “I plan to either go to Stanford, MIT, or even U.T. Dallas.”

     Each of the semifinalists envision severely different futures as they make decisions on what colleges to attend.

     “I  want to study pediatric infectious diseases,” Baral said. “I will need to go to med school after college, which is something that I need to keep in mind when applying.”

     All of Reedy’s semifinalists are involved in extracurriculars along with their studies that make them well-rounded students. Caleb, for example, states that he is currently an Eagle Scout, and has achieved the recognition of earning every single badge. Others participate in activities on the opposite side of the spectrum.

     “I’m really interested in game development,” Zhang said. “I’m in computer science club and I also make electronic music in my free time.”

     The semifinalists at Reedy have hopes of successful futures after high school, and their efforts in the PSAT are something that can aid them in their goals.

     “Winning this means that I truly did my best on the PSAT,” Zhang said. “It means that my efforts towards this test paid off.”