On Wednesday, Sept. 15, semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship were released. Seniors, Haashir Choudhry, Nabeela Hassan, and Hannah Ongmanchi were announced as National Merit Semifinalists this year.

“I was really surprised and excited to hear that I had made it as a semifinalist,” Hannah Ongmanchi said. “I only found out when a friend had congratulated me in class, and when they did, I physically jumped as an instinctive celebration.”

To qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, a student must take the PSAT/NMSQT during their third year in high school, be in enrolled as a high school student, and plan on enrolling in college after high school. Out of the 1.5 million entrants, about 50,000 of the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores are qualified for the National Merit Scholarship program.

“I did lots of practice. For me, that meant taking a ton of practice tests and then taking the time to sit down afterward and figure out what I needed to work on,” Nabeela Hassan said.

In early September, one-third of the 50,000 high-scorers are notified that have been qualified for National Merit Semifinalists. These students have the opportunity to qualify for the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships that are worth more than $30 million next spring. Choudhry, Hassan, and Ongmanchi were a few of the highest-scoring entrants in Texas.

“This opportunity was great at giving me not only some recognition but also a boost of self-esteem, along with the obvious benefits for college,” Haashir Choudhry said.

By Tisha Shrestha

Tisha Shrestha is a senior at Timber Creek High School. She is Editor-In-Chief of Talon and Editor-In-Chief of FLIGHT Lit Mag. She is also senior class historian and a member of The Creek Yearbook staff.