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UPDATED: Amarillo ISD Students Named National Merit Scholars

Posted Date: 09/21/2023

UPDATED: Amarillo ISD Students Named National Merit Scholars

September 21, 2023 –  [Updated from a September 13, 2023, article] Three Amarillo ISD seniors have been named 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists, and four others have been designated National Merit Commended Scholars. These seven students join almost 100 other AISD graduates who have been named National Merit Scholars since 2014. 

Semifinalists represent less than one percent of US high school seniors and include the highest score earners on the PSAT test in each state.

2024 National Merit Semifinalists

Amarillo High School:

  • Garrett Saied

  • Nathaniel Wright

  • Allison Wu

2024 National Merit Commended Scholars

Amarillo High School:

  • Adam Bursi

  • Luke Lusby

  • Pranav Nambiar

Tascosa High School:

  • Jordan Howard

AISD is the only area school district to consistently produce National Merit Scholars, year after year. Over the past decade, nearly 100 AISD students have earned a National Merit scholar designation. 

High school juniors entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Semifinalists have the opportunity to compete for more than 7,100 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million. 

Commended scholars represent about two-thirds of high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT test. Although Commended Students will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some may be candidates for Special Scholarships offered by corporate sponsors.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.