Three South Lakes Seniors Are Scholarship Finalist, Semifinalists
Outstanding students in the running for national awards.
Three South Lakes High School seniors learned this week they are semifinalists for national scholarships.
Manavi Bhagwat is a National Merit Scholarship finalist. Ian Crutcher and Austin Chustz are semifinalists for the National Achievement Scholarships.
“Scores from the PSAT [Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test], taken as juniors, determine who is a semifinalist,” said Bill Campbell, South Lakes counselor.
The students now go through the rest of the process, which includes an application, an essay, faculty recommendations and their full academic history for review by the National Merit Scholarship committee. The final decision will be made in Spring 2012.
Approximately 16,000 high school seniors were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for 2012 (less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors). Ultimately 8,300 National Merit Scholarship are awarded, worth $34 million.
Bhagwat, the only National Merit Scholar semifinalist from South Lakes this year, said finding out she was selected was “really surprising, but very exciting."
Bhagwat is an IB diploma candidate, an award-winning debater and part of a group whose physics science project last year earned first place at South Lakes and at the regional-level competition. She has attended the Governor’s School during the summer and has decided to apply for early decision at the University of Pennsylvania.
The National Achievement Scholar semifinalists, also based on PSAT scores, are awarded to deserving minority students. A total of 700 National Achievement $2,500 Scholarships will be awarded. The pool of semifinalists is over 1,500 qualified seniors, including two South Lakes seniors.
Chustz, also an IB Diploma candidate, said his counselor pulled him out of class to deliver the news about being a semifinalist. Chustz, who plays percussion in the Seahawk marching band and competes in indoor drumline competitions, is considering applying to Stanford and University of North Carolina.
Crutcher is also an IB diploma candidate and plays on the golf team, the chess club and is a member of South Lakes’ “It’s Academic” team. Still weighing colleges, he likes Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and University of Maryland.