EVANSTON, IL -  Sixteen students from South Brunswick High School have been named as New Jersey National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, a designation which indicates excellent academic performance in a competitive environment.

Representing South Brunswick are the following scholars:

Mailiaka Alphonsa

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Kashif Asari

Rahuh Bhalla

Evelyn L. Fu

Emily V. Hang

Sruthi Kunamneni

Mihir Laud

Allison Li

Srihrith Narahari

Praveen Parthasarathy

Rajat Peddonti

Sudarsham Seshadri

Isha Shah

Samarth Taneja

Sreekar Vendula

Franklin Yin

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 off ered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifi nalists 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. NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifi cally to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

 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 Semifi nalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school offi cial must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school offi cial, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confi rm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

 Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis.