Eastside Catholic School senior Gabrielle Chai of Redmond has been named a National Merit semifinalist in recognition of her academic achievement.
Chai is are among about 16,000 high school students nationally who made the semifinal list. She is among three students at her school to make the list. Emma Robinson of Sammamish and Ian Wood of Issaquah were the other two students.
High school principal Barbara Swann praised the students for their accomplishments.
“I am extremely proud of Gabrielle, Emma and Ian and their academic commitment as they are recognized through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as some of the highest-scoring entrants in the state,” she said in a press release. “The Eastside Catholic family firmly believes their academic promise will guide them to future success.”
According to the release, Chai would like to study biology at Tufts University and said, “younger students should take classes that they enjoy, not just the classes that would look good on their transcript.”
Chai and her fellow semifinalists have an opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit scholarships worth about $31 million that will be awarded in the spring of 2020.
According to the release, about 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 preliminary SAT/National Merit scholarship qualifying test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. Merit scholar finalists will be selected based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.