Return to Headlines

121 National Merit Scholarship Program 2020 Semifinalists

September 11, 2019

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Congratulations to the 121 Plano ISD seniors who have earned semifinalist standing.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 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. Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 

NMSC logo

Plano East Senior High School

  • Nandini Bhardwaj
  • Arun S. Eswara
  • Aryan Jain
  • Nikhil Jeeva
  • Madison T. Kanjanasim
  • Prerak Khandelwal
  • Sarah J. Lao
  • Michelle Z. Li
  • Sophia Li
  • Nitya Lohia
  • Remy E. Navarrete
  • Natalie K. New
  • Daniel R. Parks
  • Minh-Khanh A. Phung
  • Kavin Sitsabeshon
  • Andrei G. Spiride
  • Rajiv K. Swamy
  • Robert M. Szot
  • Zion A. Szot
  • Sachin G. Talagery
  • Smaran Velidi
  • Katie S. Wang

Plano Senior High School 

  • Joshua J. Cheeran
  • Doreen X. Chen
  • Rohan H. Chhaya
  • Travis A. Dula
  • Mohammad M. Elahi
  • Andrew I. Hu
  • Lauren D. Kim
  • Ashwin R. Koduri
  • Rebecca Leung
  • Ruifeng Li
  • Stephanie A. Martin
  • Afnan M. Mir
  • Kareena Y. Patel
  • Yash R. Patel
  • Silpa Penumatcha
  • Carolyn G. Pyun
  • Akhil Ramesh
  • Divya S. Ramesh
  • Elizabeth A. Riggs
  • Veronica C. Rupp
  • Anushka Saran
  • Sharan D. Tatineni
  • Burak H. Torlak
  • Evan L. Wolfe
  • Nathan R. Wulfekammer
  • Jacob Z. Yan
  • Jamie M. Yi
  • Joshua R. Yin
  • Vivian Zhao
  • Annie A. Zhi

Plano West Senior High

  • Joseph D. Allen
  • Ruchi C. Bhalani
  • Caroline B. Carter
  • Shenai W. Chan
  • Shyam S. Chandra
  • Avantika S. Chellury
  • Ruilin Chen
  • Kathy J. Cui
  • Ashley G. Guo
  • Mihir Gupta
  • Mina Hadzidedic
  • Sameer A. Haider
  • Isabelle W. Han
  • Nina L. Ho
  • Edison Y. Huang
  • Amritha Iyer
  • Julian Jaramillo
  • Leia Jiang
  • Maxwell D. Jiang
  • Gloria S. Jin
  • Megha Khuntia
  • Matthew C. Lai
  • Michael Lam
  • Brent G. Lee
  • Charles G. Lee
  • Jonathan B. Li
  • Daniel Liang
  • Lauren W. Looi
  • Jasmine K. Lu
  • Jonathan D. Ma
  • Kellyn Mendez
  • Kevin Meng
  • Anjana Moorthy
  • Alisha S. Murty
  • Thanmayi Parasu
  • Vikram P. Paresh
  • Caroline M. Pastrano
  • Manasvi U. Patel
  • Avaneesh D. Rade
  • Kritika Ramesh
  • Nushrat J. Rashid
  • Varshini S. Regupathy
  • Emily M. Ren
  • Ross S. Richards
  • Meira A. Rigley
  • Selim F. Sahin
  • Hawwa Shahid
  • Caroline E. Shee
  • Sanjana Shriram
  • Donovan J. Spall
  • Sumati Srivastava
  • Anna C. Theodore
  • Neha Thomas
  • Anqy Tong
  • Amelie M. Trieu
  • Kimberly Z. Tsao
  • Malvika S. Vaidya
  • Kesavan Venkatesh
  • Brandon Wang
  • Grace Xiao
  • Eddie Xu
  • Joshua K. Yan
  • Catherine Yang
  • Selena Dingling Yang
  • Andrew E. Yu
  • Andrew D. Zhang
  • Peter X. Zhang
  • Nicholas T. Zhong
  • Isabelle Zhu

Steps in the 2020 Competition

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 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 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 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.

About NMSC

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.