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Two Students Advance as National Merit Finalists

Posted Date: 03/01/2024

Two Students Advance as National Merit Finalists

March 1, 2024  –  Two Amarillo High School seniors are moving on as finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition. Garrett Saied and Allison Wu are part of an elite group of approximately 15,000 students nationwide who are in the running for millions of dollars in scholarships. 

Finalists and semifinalists in the competition 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 Finalists:

Amarillo High School

  • Garrett Saied

  • Allison Wu

2024 National Merit Semifinalists:

Amarillo High School

  • Nathaniel Wright

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.

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.