Senior Announced as National Merit Scholar


Graphic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced its semi-finalists of which senior Nav Bindra was one.

Michael Carvajal, Associate Online Editor

The National Merit Scholar semifinalists were announced Sept. 12, confirming RHS senior Nav Bindra as a contestant. Out of the roughly 16,000 semifinalists, 15,000 will be notified of their advancement to the finalist stage in February 2019.

The National Merit Scholarship program is a United States competition for university scholarships and academic recognition which is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

The National Merit Scholar semifinalists are determined solely based on their PSAT scores, selecting the highest scores from approximately 1.6 million contenders. The advancing semifinalists will go through a series of evaluations based on their academic record, endorsements and recommendations, past PSAT scores and a written essay.

“The essay was about an experience that was important to you, and I’m an eagle scout, so I wrote about when president Trump was inaugurated back in January 2017 and I marched in his inauguration parade,” semifinalist Nav Bindra said. “I used it as gateway to reflect on my political belief and my passion for debating politics.”

When asked about his preparation for the exam, Bindra said he practiced with Naviance SAT Test Prep and by taking the PSAT in previous years. Bindra is in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program, and when asked about the effect these classes had on his preparation, he said “challenging classes definitely helped.”

Once the finalists are selected by the NMSC, they’ll be able to compete for a variety of scholarships. Merit Scholar designees will be determined based on their skills, achievements and potential for success in a college environment. With these factors taken into account, finalists will have the chance to compete for one of the 2,500 National Merit Scholarships being given out, each worth $2,500. They will also have the opportunity to compete for corporate and college sponsored scholarships from various organizations.

Merit Scholar finalists will be announced starting in April and ending in July of 2019. The selected finalists will join some 338,000 past students under the title of Merit Scholars.