Local students earn National Merit Scholarships

May 8, 2012

By Staff

Two local students were among 2,500 National Merit Scholarship designees, chosen from more than 15,000 finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Ashwin K. Rao, a Skyline High School student, of Sammamish, will receive a $2,500 scholarship that will be underwritten by McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

Rao plans to study investment banking in college.

Carew Giberson-Chen, an Issaquah resident attending Interlake High School, was awarded a $2,500 National Merit scholarship award that is supported by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.’s own funds.

Giberson-Chen plans to study medicine in college.

National Merit Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors. The students may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2010, when about 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state representational basis.

From the semifinalist group, 15,000 students met the high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

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