Madison City Schools had 30 students who qualified as Semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. One home-school student in Madison also qualified. CONTRIBUTED

31 Madison students qualify as National Merit Semifinalists

MADISON – The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced its first set of Semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Madison City Schools has 30 students who qualified as semifinalists, with 16 from Bob Jones High School and 14 from James Clemens High School. One home-school student from Madison is on the list.

The only high schools with more Semifinalists than Bob Jones and James Clemens (separately) are Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School in Montgomery with 17 and Mountain Brook High School with 26 students.

Semifinalists from other local schools included Huntsville High School, 5 students; Grissom High School, 2; Mae Jemison, 1; and Lee High School, 1.

The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The program does not measure effectiveness of education within a school, system or state.

At James Clemens, National Merit Semifinalists and their expected major in college include these students: Angela J. Ai, biology/biological sciences; Shivani Alapati, undecided; Carlin C. Chacko, genetics; Bhavya V. Chalasani, neuroscience; Clara J. Choung, unreported; Abhishek V. Emani, unreported; Connie A. Guo, computer science; Grace Y. Hur, unreported; Lilliann D. Markowitz, biological and biomedical sciences; Aasim M. Musani, pre-medicine/pre-medical studies; Brock J. Senel, pre-medicine/pre-medical studies; Neil Sethi, unreported; Saahil Shaik, unreported; and Samuel E. Townsend, environmental health engineering.

Gabriel T. Gordon, a home-school student, qualified as a Semifinalist.

These Bob Jones students rank as National Merit Semifinalists and stated their college major: Abram C. Carlson, undecided; Samantha S. Chan, pre-medicine/pre-medical studies; Andrew D. Crocker, computer engineering; Gianna Dieselberg, interior design; Rachael A. Ehrman, mechanical engineering; Luke M. Garrison, computer engineering; Elizabeth V. Haddock, unreported; Lucy L. Halter, civil engineering; Piper S. Larkin, chemistry; Francois S. le Roux, computer science; Madeline G. McInvale, unreported; Elizabeth K. Newsom, physics; Pranaav Satheesh, biology/biological sciences; Lauren N. Sheehy, aerospace, aeronautical and space engineering; Taylor L. Turpin, biochemistry; and 161 Zoe A. Widman, biology/biological sciences.

An initial screen for these students was the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Entrants with the highest scores in each state qualify in the nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.

The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, have endorsement by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the qualifying test.

National Merit Scholarship winners for 2024 will be announced in four news releases, issued in April 2024 through July 2024, with $28 million at stake.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation has headquarters in Evanston, Ill. For more information, visit


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