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Fourteen Pearland ISD students competing for National Merit scholarships

National Merit Semifinalists

Pearland Independent School District proudly announces 14 semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.

These semifinalists include Dawson High School’s Stefan Budimlic, Kyle Bundick, Nicholas Christner, Justin Lenderman, Cindy Li, Meredith McNichols, Basil Muthalaly, Vidya Muthupillai, Ashley Phillips, Muhammad Rehmat, Jose Salinas, Amar Sehgal, Pavan Senthil and Jordyn Taylor.

Approximately 16,000 students -- less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors -- reached the semifinalist stage this year, thanks to high scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test during their junior year in each state.

Approximately 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 scholarship program by taking the 2019 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

About National Merit Scholarship Program

In spring 2021, semifinalists who advance to the finalist round will compete for approximately 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth a combined value of more than $30 million. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To become Merit Scholar finalists, students must not only have outstanding academic records throughout high school but also earn high SAT scores and demonstrate leadership in school and community activities.

Finalists will compete for the following awards:

  • 2,500 National Merit Scholarships (worth $2,500 each) awarded on a state-representational basis
  • 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships provided by approximately 220 corporations/businesses
  • 4,100 college-sponsored scholarships from 180 colleges and universities for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution