Shakopee High School Seniors Ian Smith, Tharun Inturi and Simran Rana have been designated as 2021 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists and were recognized at the Sept. 28 Shakopee School Board meeting.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a highly-selective academic competition for scholarships and recognition.

The program names approximately 16,000 semifinalists across the country out of 1.5 million applicants based on scores from their National Merit Scholarship qualifying test. Of those semifinalists, around 15,000 will be notified that they have moved on to become finalists in February, according to the NMSP website.

In the spring, the program will award scholarships to approximately half of the finalists. The scholarships are mostly sponsored by hundreds of different corporations and colleges of varying amounts.

In addition to the three semifinalists, seven Shakopee High School students were named National Merit Commended Students: Saloni Baral, John Nesnidal, Rachel Oelkers, Raj Panda, Zachary Susee, Lilly Tran and Marie Witt. Students recognized in this category can become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses, according to the school district.

“We could not be more proud of these students at Shakopee High School,” Shakopee High School Principal Jeff Pawlicki said. “Each and every one of them have accomplished much in their time at the high school and we cannot wait to see what their future holds.”


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