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32 MVLA Students are Semifinalists in 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program

September 11, 2019

Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program include 32 MVLA Students 


Today officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. 

Among the 16,000 are 32 MVLA students. They are:

  • Jessica  Aaron, LAHS
  • Kylie Akiyama, LAHS
  • Jack Ashby, MVHS 
  • Elena Atluri, LAHS
  • Kayla Blalack, MVHS
  • Isabella  Borkovic, LAHS
  • Owen Brat, LAHS
  • Karina Chen, MVHS 
  • Zachary Chen, MVHS
  • Cassandra Chou, LAHS
  • Joshua Hejna, LAHS
  • Daniel Hu, LAHS 
  • Natalie Huang, LAHS 
  • Nathan Huang, LAHS 
  • Olivia Ih, LAHS
  • Alex Kim, MVHS
  • Cassidy Lee, LAHS
  • Maxwell  Liu, LAHS
  • Megan Liu, LAHS
  • Kyle Machnicki, LAHS
  • Karim Merchant, LAHS
  • Elena Mujica, LAHS
  • Arielle Perrochon, MVHS
  • Mikko Salkola, LAHS
  • Riana Sanjeevan, LAHS
  • Nakul Shenoy, MVHS
  • William Temme, MVHS 
  • Thien-Nha Tiet, LAHS
  • Matthew Tseng, MVHS
  • Oliver Yu, LAHS
  • Sarah Yung, LAHS 
  • Michelle Zhu, LAHS


“We are proud that so many of our students have shown exceptional academic ability and have been recognized by this well-respected not-for-profit organization,” said MVLA Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer. “Our local public high schools are dedicated to encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence, and this scholarship program is an indicator that we are doing our job well.”

There were 28 MVLA semifinalists and five scholarship winners in 2018. In 2017, MVLA had 41 semifinalists; four students won the National Merit Scholarship. In 2016, 25 MVLA students were semifinalists, and one received the National Merit Scholarship.

More about the National Merit Scholarship Program 

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. 

More than 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. 

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. 

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 345,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.