LIVINGSTON, NJ -- Seniors David Lin and Vanessa Hu, the Class of 2019 salutatorian, both of Livingston High School, recently were announced as winners in the National Merit Scholarship competition. Lin and Hu were chosen from more than 15,000 finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program based on their “academic promise and distinguished performance.”

Lin and Hu both were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, after the appraisal of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2017, when more than 1.6 million juniors in close to 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists.
 
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From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Thirteen LHS students made it to the finalist level. In addition to Lin and Hu, LHS Finalists included Jonathan Ackerman, Kyle Cao, Sunny Chen, Scott Faber, Andrew Jiang, Caleb Liu, Isabella Tang, Yelin Yao, Catherine Zhang, Jennifer Zheng, and Winnie Zhu.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) earlier this month announced winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities.

Two seniors at Livingston High School, Jonathan Ackerman and Kyle Cao, were among the scholarship recipients.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

Ackerman, who is planning to study computer science, and Cao, who intends to pursue a career in the music and entertainment field, both received scholarships to Rutgers University.