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Gwinnett National Merit Scholars

July 2016
Gwinnett National Merit Scholars


(Left) Priyanka Desai of Peachtree Ridge High School.


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced its 2016 National Merit Scholars, distinguished students nationwide judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Each receives a scholarship for $2,500.

The long competition began when more than 1.5 million students, who at the time were high school juniors, took the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The highest scoring participants in each state became semifinalists, and represented less than 1% of the nation’s seniors. Of these, 15,000 advanced as finalists. A committee reviewed each finalist’s academic record including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions/leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the student; and a recommendation written by a high school official. Winners numbered 7,500, their scholarships worth about $33 million. In Gwinnett County, the list came down to seven, including
Priyanka Desai of Peachtree Ridge High School (Probable career field: Consulting),
Victoria S. Joshi from North Gwinnett High School (Mechanical Engineering – Robotics),
Anima Shrestha of Parkview High School (Neurosurgery).

NSMC also awarded six College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships. Officials of the 184 sponsor colleges select their winners from among Finalists who will attend their institution. The scholarships provide $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. Winners include
Simran V. Modi of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) (Medicine) – National Merit University of Georgia Scholarship.

[The article above is a Website Bonus Feature, appearing only on the website for July 2016, not in the July print/digital issues.]

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