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Award winning students


SNN Staff Writer

One Lakewood student and one former Spartan are National Merit Semifinalists. Senior Ethan Nguyen and Rajat Patwari, who recently moved to Canada, received the award in early September.

“As of now the award is purely recognition, but if I make it to the finals I could get $2,500,” Nyguen said. If Nyguen becomes a finalist, he would be one of about 16,000 other students, about 7,500 of which are awarded scholarships of $2,500 a year. “I see it as an easier way to get into college,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen said although the award was a pleasant surprise, just being a semifinalist doesn’t grant scholarships directly. It still makes a stellar impression on a college application, he said. There are three main qualifications for the award. Students generally need to score in the top 1 percent of juniors on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), or the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Qualifiers must also be enrolled as a high school student and be a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident or planning to become a citizen.

The other award-winning student, Patwari plans to list this award on his college application for a “slight edge” when applying to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton, two prestigious schools in the Northeast even though Patwari and his family recently moved to Canada.

“Currently, I am not planning on coming back for my senior year. I will most likely finish my last year at my new school and then go on to university. I do miss my friends and the teachers at Lakewood and hope to maybe visit them again in the future if possible,” he said.

This award is a huge accomplishment for both of these Spartans. To move on to the finals and receive a scholarship, the requirements are: getting a recommendation from your high school principal or someone designated by the principal, obtaining a record of high academic performance throughout high school and submitting a completed scholarship application.