Greenhills students earn National Merit, Siemens Scholarships

Four Greenhills seniors have earned scholarships in two separate categories administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation this year. Last year, Greenhills students earned three of the coveted National Merit Scholarship awards.

Three of this year’s winners — Nina Farahanchi, Bonnie Liu, and Bharath Yalavarthi — earned the traditional $2,500 National Merit Scholarship awards. They were chosen from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists in the overall 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The fourth, Sushruta Shankar, was chosen as a winner of the Siemens Scholarship, sponsored by the Siemens Foundation and administered by NMSC. It is among the special scholarships underwritten by businesses that also fund merit scholarship awards.

Winners of National Merit Scholarships are chosen from each state’s finalists and are judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners in Michigan is proportional to Michigan’s percentage of graduating high school seniors. Twelve Greenhills seniors were named semifinalists this school year.

Final selections were made by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who reviewed candidates’ academic records, scores from two standardized tests, contributions and leadership in their schools and communities, an essay written by the candidate, and recommendations from high school officials. But the process really began in 2016, when more than 1.6 million then-juniors in more than 22,000 high school took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Last fall those with the highest scores were named semifinalists.

The 2018 program will finish with 7,500 finalists earning the “Merit Scholar” title and receiving a total of over $31 million in scholarships.

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