Liyana Asaria-Issa ‘23 was named a Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship program and recognized by Head of School Bob Whelan during Upper School announcements this week at an assembly (with “The Final Countdown” by the band Europe as rather fitting walk-up music). This distinction places her in a group of less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors who took the PSAT last year.
In September it was announced that Asaria-Issa was selected as one of just over 16,000 students (from a pool of approximately 1.6 million students nationwide) to be named a Semifinalist in the competition. To continue to the Finalist round, candidates must submit an extensive scholarship application that details their academic record, community and school participation, leadership roles, employment, honors, and awards. According to the NMS official announcement, "a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance in the qualifying test."
This past September, four additional GFA seniors were honored as Merit Scholar Commended Students, who "demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success," according to a National Merit Scholarship spokesperson. The PSAT scores of these students were in the top two percent nationally. They include Adelle Rubinchick, Lane Durkin, Dylan Cofsky, and Chang. Together with, then Semifinalist Asaria-Issa, the group celebrated over bagels and cupcakes with Mr. Whelan.