16 Seniors Honored by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

Friday, September 27, 2019
Gary Zheng ’20
Jiachen Sun ’20
Sean ​Fiscus ’20

Three students from Mercersburg Academy have been chosen as Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Competition, a significant achievement awarded to just 16,000 high-school students nationwide. Those honored include Sean ​Fiscus ’20 (LaVale, Md.), Jiachen Sun ’20 (Hangzhou, China), and Gary Zheng ’20 (Hangzhou, China). 

The Semifinalists were named in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. More than 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the title of “Merit Scholar.” 

Additionally, 13 members of Mercersburg Academy’s Class of 2020 were named Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program: Davis Anderson ’20 (Seattle, Wash.), Rosina Beritela ’20 (Sparks, Md.), Tess Browne ’20 (McLean, Va.), Shannon Fan ’20 (Beijing, China), Aidan Ferrin ’20 (Bozeman, Mont.), Jack Kothari ’20 (Hagerstown, Md.), Brandon Lamer-Connolly ’20 (Greencastle, Pa.), Kevin Lee ’20 (Seoul, South Korea), Grace Lewis ’20 (Greencastle, Pa.), Hung Tran ’20 (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), Priscilla Wadlington ’20 (Shippensburg, Pa.), Selina Xue ’20 (Shanghai, China), and Jesse Zhang ’20 (Beijing, China).

The honorees are among a group of about 34,000 students nationwide who are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). 

Those selected receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their accomplishment. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.