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Four Altamont Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists
Julie Beckwith

Vivek Sasse, Asher Desai, Amrita Lakhanpal, and Spencer Skidmore were announced today as Semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Vivek, Asher, Amrita, and Spencer join approximately 16,000 other high school seniors in receiving this honor. Over 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as the initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

These academically talented students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, official recommendations, and an essay. About 90 percent of Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program, please visit

Congratulations Vivek, Asher, Amrita, and Spencer!

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