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21 students announced as National Merit Semifinalists

By Raquel Weinberg

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Amidst college applications galore, 21 seniors will have another essay to write in order to qualify as a National Merit Finalist.

During 2nd period today, principal Alan Goodwin and resource counselor Frances Landau announced this year’s National Merit Semifinalists based on 2012 PSAT scores. The semifinalists were among the top one percent of the state and scored a 223 or higher on the test, which was the cutoff for the state of Maryland.

This year’s cutoff was the highest it’s ever been, Landau said.

After congratulating students on keeping the number of semifinalists in the twenties and ranking only behind Blair and Richard Montgomery, Goodwin handed out Walt Whitman pens and $5 Chipotle gift cards to the students.

Finalists generally go on to receive scholarships from schools, corporations and organizations, but not all semifinalists can become finalists. To qualify, students must send in a valid SAT score around the same range as their PSAT, write a small essay and have a high GPA.

While grateful for the opportunity to win scholarships, senior Zeyo Luo is unsure whether or not she’ll move forward to try and become a finalist.

“It feels like I got lucky, but the extra work is kind of irritating,” she said. “ I could just not do the application, but you don’t pass up a scholarship.”

This year’s National Merit Semifinalists are Jacob Cutler, Lisa Deng, Henry Doran, Charlie Gibson, Julia Greenberg, Moses Hetfield, Adam Joel, Meera Kattapuram, Adam Klein, Jessica Levy, Adam Lowet, Zeya Luo, Carson Lystad, Julia Medine, Shafiuddin Noss, Emily Rosenthal, Tori Seidenstein, Nathaniel Sherman, Wes Slaughter, Ben Talisman and David Weber.

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The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School
21 students announced as National Merit Semifinalists