Congratulations to Senior Siddhartha M. Ojha, who was awarded a 2022 National Merit $2,500 Scholarship. Siddhartha is one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners, chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.
"We are so proud of Sid for winning this prestigious scholarship, but even more so, we are just proud to know him and call him a Scout," said Lake Forest Community High School Principal Dr. Erin Lenart. "From his 9th grade year, he has been a leader and inspiration to not only his peers but our teachers and staff, as well."
In keeping with tradition, the 2022 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.
"I was thrilled to learn that I was chosen as a National Merit Scholar," says this year's LFHS National Merit Scholarship winner, Siddhartha Ojha. "I am very grateful for this recognition, as well as the scholarship that the Lake Forest High School Foundation has awarded me, and honored to represent Lake Forest High School."
These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
This year's National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2020 when high school juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation's high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis. More than 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the Semifinalist group, over 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2022 program, about 7,500 Finalists will have earned the "Merit Scholar" title and received a total of nearly $28 million in college scholarships.
NMSC, a not-for-profit corporation that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of scholarships offered each year are underwritten by approximately 400 independent corporate and college sponsors that share NMSC's goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and encouraging academic excellence at all levels of education.