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Five Saratoga High students win National Merit Scholarships

Five Saratoga High School students gained financial boosts from the National Merit Scholarships this summer. The organization announced its most recent designations on July 17, including Saratogans Jaewoo Raymond Lee, Isabelle S. Tseng and Amulya Vadlakonda. They join two National Merit Scholars announced on June 7, Michelle Jiang and Neehar M. Thumaty.
Jaewoo Raymond Lee will be studying music at Baylor University in Texas, Isabelle S. Tseng will study pharmacy at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Amulya Vadlakonda will study medicine at Case Western University in Ohio, Michelle Jiang will study biology and Neehar M. Thumaty will study medicine, both at the University of Southern California.
The National Merit Scholarship process begins with an initial screening of students’ Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores. More than 1.6 million students from 22,000 high schools take the test.
About 16,000 semifinalists are invited to submit detailed scholarship applications that include an essay describing leadership positions and contributions to community activities, proof of an outstanding academic record and an endorsement from a high school official. Semifinalists also have to receive scores on their SAT that confirmed their scores of the initial qualifying test.
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From the semifinalist group, about 15,000 students attain finalist standing, and just half of them receive scholarships.
Four other students from Saratoga who attend different schools also won scholarships, including Alexander Moore from Prospect High School, who will study computer science at the University of Arizona; Sean C. Hoerger from Westmont High School, who will study computer science at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont; Avanish Rao from St. Francis High School, who will study computer science at University of Chicago; and Amrita Singh from The Harker School, who will study aerospace engineering at University of Southern California.
These awards provide $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at each student’s institution.

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