4R scholar Karthik Subramanian has been named a National Merit Semifinalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Ryan was one of 16,000 Semifinalists from across the country who were selected from a pool of 1.6 million students at over 22,000 high schools. Semifinalists are chosen from students participating in the PSAT each fall. Like students at most other high schools, Parnassus School of Rhetoric scholars take the PSAT exam in the fall of their 3R year.
Karthik is the second Parnassus student to be named as a National Merit Semifinalist. Last year, 2019 graduate Ryan Friess was named a Semifinalist and went on to be selected as a National Merit Finalist.
Karthik and his fellow Semifinalists will have the opportunity to continue in the competition to be named a National Merit Finalist and be awarded a National Merit Scholarship. Last year, National Merit Scholarships granted to finalists amounted to over $30 million shared amongst approximately 7,500 students. Being a Semifinalist or Finalist comes with meaningful status conferment and even some financial perks. Over 200 colleges and universities offer automatic scholarships for National Merit Finalists.
In order to become a Finalist, Semifinalists have to complete a detailed scholarship application, which details the students’ academic record, participation in extracurricular activities and community service, leadership abilities, employment, an any honors or awards received. Semifinalists must also write an essay and sit for the SAT exam. National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in April.