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FUSD Students Named 2020 National Merit Scholarship Winners
Posted 4/23/20

FUSD is proud to count eight 2020 National Merit Scholarship winners, representing four high schools, among its student population. In an April 21st press release, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) released the names of the first group of winners in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Approximately 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by nearly 160 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations. FUSD students selected as National Merit Scholarship winners are:


American High School

            Angela Hawkins

            Afzal Khan

            Meghna Kiran


Irvington High School

            Varsha Mani

            Kathan Shah

            Anoushka Singal


Kennedy High School

            Daniel George


Mission San Jose High School

            Andrew Zhang



Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.


This is the first announcement of National Merit Scholars in 2020 by National Merit Scholarship Corporation. NMSC will name recipients of National Merit® $2500 Scholarships on May 13th, and winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards on June 3rd and July 13th. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,600 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.


Funding for these National Merit Scholarships is provided by corporate organizations that represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the business community have underwritten awards offered in all 65 competitions, expending or committing approximately $820 million to support the intellectual development of the nation’s scholastically talented youth.


Over 1.5 million juniors in approximately 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2019, some 16,000 Semifinalists were designated on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors. In all, 153 FUSD students, (an increase of 34 from 2019) representing all five of the District’s comprehensive high schools, were on the list, helping Fremont post the 3rd-highest number of semifinalists (158) among cities in California – trailing only San Jose (271) and San Diego (162).


To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, Semifinalists had to fulfill requirements to advance to Finalist standing. Each Semifinalist was asked to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirmed their qualifying test performance. From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 met Finalist requirements.