Brahma runner ups for National Merit Scholarship

Eighteen Diamond Bar High School seniors were announced as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, making them eligible to complete the application process to be finalists and a $2,500 scholarship.

The Brahma semifinalists, who scored in the top 1 percent in the state, are Grace Ge, Samantha Hong, Wesley Ip, Christine Lee, Ryan Li, Amy Miyahara, Isaac No, Ashley Pang, Phoebe Scaccia, Andrew Seo, Alice Wang, Yuwen Wang, Keith Wong, Ted Yarmoski, Timothy Yeh, Angela Zhang, Catherine Zhang and Christine Zhou.

“I wanted to do well on the test obviously, but I see this more as something additional to put on my applications rather than something that will open up doors for me,” Li said.

Though these students achieved exceptional scores on their PSAT, this is just the beginning of the process to potentially winning the scholarship. The application process for advancing to finalist status entails keeping their competitive GPA at a 3.5 or above throughout their senior year while also showing a challenging transcript with AP and honors courses.

“When we got the results in January I knew that because my score was pretty high I’d be able to qualify, so I wasn’t surprised at all,” No said.

Qualifiers must also score high on the actual SAT to ensure the validity of their past scores. Additionally, National Merit finalists are expected to be involved in activities that express their passion. Students must also fill out a profile sheet, obtain a letter of recommendation from the principal or appointed school official and submit an approximately 500 to 600 word essay before the application deadline of Oct. 10.

“I wasn’t surprised about my test results,” Scaccia said. “Honestly, getting a high score on the test itself was the easy part, I’m kind of dreading the application process but I’m still excited. I think it is going to open up a lot of opportunities for me.”