Eight from the Class of 2020 were named National Merit Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Churchill Akhigbe, Reid Chandler, Parth Dahima, Gregory Guo, Kyle Koester, Rob McFadden, Seth Richey, and Arjun Puri were among 305 Semifinalists in Tennessee and 16,000 Semifinalists across the nation.
Semifinalists usually rate in the top 1 percent of scorers. Finalists now compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered this spring. About 90 percent of Semifinalists attain Finalist standing, and about half of those will win Merit Scholar titles and financial awards.
In addition to the Semifinalists, seniors Ben Cramer, Jacob Curlin, Charlie Eason, John Henley, Jonathan Huang, Drew Rakers, and Jack Wellford were designated National Merit Commended Students. This means they placed in the top 3-4 percent of scorers when they took the PSAT as juniors.
Established in 1955, the NMSC conducts the annual scholarship program to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.