The Tampa Bay area this year is home to 130 National Merit Semifinalists from 35 high schools, according to a list released this week by the National Merit Scholarship program.
Four schools had 10 or more semifinalists: King, Middleton and Plant high schools in Hillsborough County and Palm Harbor University High in Pinellas County.
The students are among 16,000 high school seniors nationwide competing for about 7,500 scholarships worth nearly $30 million to be offered in the spring.
The process began in 2020 when about 1.5 million students took the Preliminary SAT as juniors. Their scores were among the highest in their respective states. And, as semifinalists, they represent less than 1 percent of high school seniors in the U.S.
In February, 15,000 of the semifinalists will be named finalists, half of whom will be eligible for Merit Scholarships through the program.
Among the factors considered in the scholarship selection are a student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, other honors and awards, and SAT or ACT scores. Students also must be recommended by a high school official and write an essay.
Here is a list of the local semifinalists:
Academy of the Holy Names: Laura C. Jung and Grace K. Odmark
Alonso High: Joud M. Elsherbiny
Bell Creek Academy: Lucas A. Nardin
Berkeley Preparatory School: Liam M. Andrews, Mason M. Doyle, Aleena Farooq, Penelope Grapsas, Dhruv K. Kapadia, Robert M. Muldrow, John A. Reilly, Ryan Shaw and Sundee T. Win
Blake High: Ethan M. Stephanis
Carrollwood Day School: Samantha G. Asmar, Aryan K. Banerjee, Justin C. Deboskey, Ashna N. Patel, Suhani M. Shah and Gabriel S. Slater
Gaither High: Devin T. Connerney
Hillsborough High: Dylan M. Chuang, Aahan Dwivedi, Lauren E. Novorska, Marc Taylor and Kelvin C. Wang
Jesuit High: Benjamin A. Deakin, Avery Hames, Logan A. Kant, Trevor M. Powers, Zachary M. Reich, Ethan R. Tiejema and Andrew B. Wilson
King High: Nitya Anne, Jing Cao, Tushar S. Gona, Angela Jiang, Gavin A. Johnston, Nitya S. Kodali, Ishita Mishra, Astha A. Patel, Anya K. Patidar, Aaryan Srivastava, Ashwatha Suresh, David L. Tu, Lily Viet, Rahul Vijay and Satvik Vippatoori
Middleton High: Shriya R. Buragadda, Charley X. Cheng, Arin Gupta, Aaron J. Hazelwood, Keval K. Kataria, Rashi Lakhotia, Leo P. Melson, Ria Nayar, Akhilesh Peddu, Scott L. Sheridan, Ananya V. Sista and Estella Tu
Newsome High: Cody T. Basquill, Ayotuntosimi O. Loye and Anika R. Shah
Plant City High: Sarah G. Harvester
Plant High: Madeline P. Browy, John D. Cellitti, Amy S. Cha, Caitlin E. Hagney, Lauren G. Lampinen, Kallyn J. McKinney, Rowan M. Oflanagan, Jhagadeswara Rajavarapu, Arlie J. Rubin and Hayden K. Stern
Robinson High: Carter W. Attardo, Aidan Bai, Chloe S. Bailey, Emily C. Brenning, Nathan V. Pham and Priya L. Sambasivan
Sickles High: Michael W. Duncan
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Steinbrenner High: Meryl A. Bentz, Andrea L. Burgess, Erin S. Kim and Vivian Rao
Strawberry Crest High: Emily A. Chacko, Suhas R. Muthineni, Nishant V. Nagururu, Rishabh D. Thakkar and Ian A. Wells
Tampa Preparatory School: Satarie E. Bennett, Mackenzie K. Capella, Ryan R. Kelly and Abigail C. Mansour
Universal Academy of Florida: Anika Riazudeen
Clearwater Central Catholic: Taylor Galloway
East Lake High: Sandhya Ganesh
Largo High: Nathan W. Bailey, Evelyn S. Colon and William J. Zhu
Osceola Fundamental High: Aaron J. Rubaii
Palm Harbor University High: Krish Asknani, Sherry M. Habib, Sylwia Kwasny, Angela N. Li, Cole Mackey, Brooke A. Reed, Kaitlin A. Ryan, Hailey A. Sherrell, Andrew J. Staab, Hannah G. Tan and Jianing Xue
Shorecrest Preparatory School: Christian G. Bepler and Emily C. Forney
St. Petersburg Collegiate High: Cade A. Finney
St. Petersburg Collegiate High-Tarpon Springs: Kai A. Rubach
St. Petersburg High: Faith A. Jones, Huy M. Nguyen, Dylan Perez, Arabella Readey, Kasha A. Tyranski and Tiffany L. Zhou
Land O’Lakes High: Sohan Malladi and Daniel J. Urbonas
Pasco High: Kenneth P. Chew
Mitchell High: Leonid Alexeyev and Jacob Bolton
Sunlake High: Louis E. Cohen
Wiregrass Ranch High: Eric T. Reichard
Springstead High: Lily J. Achenbach
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