45 Loudoun Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

The National Merit Scholarship program announced its 2023 semifinalists on Sept. 14. Of the over 16,000 semifinalists, 44 attend Loudoun County Public Schools and one is homeschooled in Loudoun. 

Eighteen other Loudoun students attending Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County were also named as semifinalists. 

“Broad Run High School is very excited for our six seniors who have been named National Merit Semifinalists. From music to sports and science to business, these students have involved themselves in every aspect of our school and excelled. We wish them well on their journey as they consider application to be National Merit Finalists,” Broad Run High School Principal David Spage stated.

Director of Counseling at Tuscarora High School, Jennifer Reed said, “We are so proud of both of these young men. They both attend the Academies of Loudoun and are looking into the STEM field, biomedical or possibly engineering. It’s been such a pleasure to have them at Tuscarora.” 

Reed said she has been a counselor for over 20 years and she always gets excited when students meet that semifinalist threshold. She said telling them about it and watching them beam with excitement is one of her favorite things.  

The National Merit Scholarship program gives academically talented high school seniors an opportunity to compete for national scholarships. This year the 16,000 semifinalists are competing for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships together worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring, according to a press release.

Students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or PSAT/NMSQT test their junior year of high school. The nationwide pool of semifinalists includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state, according to the release.

Once the semifinalists are announced, students can then apply to become a finalist by filling out a detailed application, writing an essay, providing their high school transcripts, showing participation in school and community activities, demonstrating leadership abilities, showing employment and listing any award or honors they’ve received. Semifinalists must also be recommended by their high school principal and show they plan to enroll in college the following fall. 

From the over 16,000 semifinalists, more than 95% are expected to become finalists and about half of those will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title, according to the release. 

National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced starting in April. Scholarship recipients will join the nearly 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

The Loudoun semifinalists are:

Venkat Chitturi – Briar Woods High School

Prisha R. Krishnan – Briar Woods High School

Kavya Lalith – Briar Woods High School

Anjali S. Pamulapati – Briar Woods High School

Madhuri S. Sosale – Briar Woods High School

Sahana Sreeram – Briar Woods High School

Altaf Syed – Briar Woods High School 

Varun R. Togaru – Briar Woods High School

Avaneesh Babu – Broad Run High School

Lauren I. Brendlinger – Broad Run High School

Khang T. Hoang – Broad Run High School

Pranav S. Kotamraju – Broad Run High School

Tejus Lakshminarayan – Broad Run High School

Arjun Ramakrishnan – Broad Run High School

Luke N. Abram – Dominion High School

Miya O. Livingston- Dominion High School 

Rishi Borra – Freedom High School

Nikhil Boyalla – Freedom High School

Nikhil K. Limgala – Freedom High School 

Evalynn S. Bogusz – Heritage High School

Thomas J. Coleman – Heritage High School

Nicholas A. Freire – Heritage High School

John P. Kline -Homeschool

Ritveek Govardhanam – Independence High School

Eeshwar A. Nathan – Independence High School

Shalmali Rao – Independence High School 

Maithiri Dhinakaran -John Champe High School

Tristan W. Holland – Lightridge High School

Samriddhi Kumar – Lightridge High School

Abhinav R. Pasula – Lightridge High School

Sydney V. Tamsett – Loudoun County High School

Jameson P. Vanderloo – Loudoun County High School

William R. Zhang – Loudoun County High School

Landon L. Linn – Potomac Falls High School

Saurav L. Sukumaran – Potomac Falls High School

Krishna Jha – Riverside High School

Abigail V. Martin – Riverside High School

Harshit R. Pottipati – Rock Ridge High School

Anirudh S. Rao – Rock Ridge High School

Krisha Mathur – Stone Bridge High School

Hannah M Ott – Stone Bridge High School

Salonee Verma – Stone Bridge High School 

Rishik Balerao, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Arnav Jain, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Tanish Jain, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Tanmai Kalisipudi, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Vishal Kotha, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Satvik L. Matta, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Sravya Patibandla, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Shashwat Rao, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Anika Rekulapelli, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Thrisha Sakamuri, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Isha Satapathy, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Nihal Shah, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Saloni Shah, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Shruti Shah, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Savar Shrivastava, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Vincent K. Trang, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Yuktha Vemula, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Jessica Wang, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Jia Kan Choo – Tuscarora High School

David R. Jiang – Tuscarora High School 

Moses S. Zhang – Woodgrove High School

This story was updated at 1:10 p.m. on Sept 20 to include the 18 students attending Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County.

One thought on “45 Loudoun Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

  • 2022-09-15 at 3:20 pm
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    Wow. Awesome news. Congratulations to the 45 semifinalists from Loudoun. Once again, Loudoun has put its best foot forward nationally. Why anyone would want to run down such a great school division is beyond me. Happy Constitution Day Loudoun!

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