EDUCATION: MCHS students named National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists 

Mira Costa students named semi-finalists for a National Merit Scholarship, from left to right, Adam Manasfi, Mia Roman-Wilson, Veronica Fish, Charles Hiatt, Kina Desai, William Kiely, and Naomi Kim. Photo courtesy MBUSD

by Hibah Samad

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of the more than 16,000 semi-finalists nationwide who will now compete for the finalist title in the 69th Annual National Merit Scholarship competition. Seven of those selected as semi-finalists are Mira Costa High School students. 

The semi-finalists were chosen from a pool of more than 1.3 million juniors from 21,000 high schools.The seven MCHS students selected for this accolade are Kina Desai, Veronica Fish, Charles Hiatt, William Kiely, Naomi Kim, Adam Manasfi, and Mia Roman-Wilson.

The semi-finalists are part of the less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors who scored the highest on the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as the initial screen to be considered for the program.
“I am proud of our semi-finalists and their commitment to their education,” said Dr. Karina Gerger, MCHS Principal. “The recognition of the National Merit Scholarship Program is evidence of the academic excellence at Mira Costa. All of these students are deserving of this honor. This accolade also showcases the strong teaching happening by our staff.” 

Students must also have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

“From over 16,000 Semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February, they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists,” said a statement released by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

To be considered a National Merit Scholar, students must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. They plan to submit a detailed scholarship application, including academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstration of leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards. 

The seven Mira Costa students will now be in the running to receive a $2,500 scholarship to help them further their education. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, about 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million will be awarded next spring. ER 

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