Ten UAHS students become National Merit Semifinalists

by Clare Driscoll, ’19

Last month, UAHS announced ten seniors as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. This honor is earned by students who are in the top 1 percent of scores on the PSAT taken during their junior year.

The students recognized are Oscar Coppola, Angela Li, Lance Li, Nicholas Liakos, Kyle MacLaughlin, Andrew Mastruserio, Zain Padamsee, Matthew Sheperd, Sophie Yang and Katie Zhao.

The scoring for National Merit differs from the PSAT, which runs up to a score of 1520. National Merit takes scores from 2 to 38 for three sections—math, reading, and writing and language—and multiplies those by two to total a score out of 228. The UAHS students who received the National Merit Semifinalist status scored above 219, the cutoff for Ohio.

Padamsee said there were many things that needed be done in order to advance from the semi-finalist stage.

“After we were named semifinalists, we learned that in order to become an official National Merit Scholar, we had to fill out an application, send our transcripts, test scores and have our counselor send in a letter of recommendation,” Padamsee said. “It’s like having another college to apply to.”

While there is extra work that comes with the hopes of becoming a National Merit scholar, Padamsee said he believes its worth the effort.

“If I become a National Merit scholar, it will help a lot because I’ll be able to pay a lot less for school,” Padamsee said.

If the ten students advance to finalist status, as roughly 94 percent of National Merit Semifinalists do, they will be eligible to earn a $2,500 monetary scholarship.

National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.