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Eleven HCPS high school graduates were recently selected as National Merit Scholarship winners.

Hillsborough County Public Schools Shine with National Merit Scholarship Winners

May 26, 2017 - Points of Pride

Twelve high school graduates in Hillsborough County were recently selected as National Merit Scholarship winners, 11 of them attended Hillsborough County Public Schools.

National Merit Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2015 when over 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis. Only these 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.

By the conclusion of the 2017 program, about 7,500 finalists nationally will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and will receive a total of over $32 million in college scholarships.

The scholars were selected by a committee comprised of college admission officers and high counselors. They reviewed students' academic records, the difficulty level of subject studies and grades earned, scores from two standardized tests, contributions in leadership and school and community activities, recommendation letters and an essay written by the finalist.

Saharsh Agrawal, National Merit Scholarship winner from King High School shared, “I am very honored and grateful to have been chosen for this award.”

Each winner received a $2,500 scholarship to use at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university (unless otherwise noted below).

On June 7 and July 17, some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced.

National Merit Scholarship Winners from Hillsborough County Public Schools:

Strawberry Crest High
Phoebe M. Ferguson $2,500 winner
Kevin M. Chacko $2,500 winner
Nikitha Chandran $2,500 winner
Kristen Gaertner (Corporate sponsored winner - Dr. Joseph J. Jacobs Scholarship)

Hillsborough High
Jakob S. Nicolasora $2,500 winner
Meghana Bhimreddy $2,500 winner

King High
Saharsh Agrawal $2,500 winner
Heta N. Patel $2,500 winner

Middleton High
Varun Singh $2,500 winner

Plant High
George H. Bentley $2,500 winner

Robinson High
Sarah Jennewein $2,500 winner

Click here to see the full list of HCPS National Merit Finalists