HOLMDEL, NJ – The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced its 2020 Semifinalists and Commended Students in the 65th annual program and as usual, Holmdel High School students are included among them.

Holmdel High School seniors Emily Levonas, Hannah Lin, Daniel Yuan and Claudia Zhang were named Semifinalists in this year’s program while nineteen other students earned recognition as Commended Students. They include: Rohaan Ahmad, Nicholas Bauman, Sophie Birk, Jeremy Bodycomb, Derek Chan, Yu Chung, Eliot Gunawardana, Joseph Helbock, Carolyn Jiang, Rebecca Liu, Jeffrey Luk, Anika Patel. Musa Shaikh, Daniel Shnitkind, Tom Sui, Sophia Taverna, Owen Walor, Daniel Wang and Justin Zhang

Approximately, 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 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.

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From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February 2020 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.  

"It is always gratifying to have so many of our students recognized for their academic achievements," said Superintendent, Dr. Robert McGarry. "It’s a testament to the excellence in teaching and learning for which our district is known."