Avon Grove HS students named National Merit Semifinalists

Avon Grove High School seniors Tyler Dalton and Sindhuja Kanamarlapudi have been selected as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Avon Grove High School (AGHS) seniors Tyler Dalton and Sindhuja Kanamarlapudi have been named semifinalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program. The program recognizes students whose academic strengths are amongst the best in the country and provides scholarship opportunities to finalists in the program.

In order to qualify for the program, Dalton and Kanamarlapudi took the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) during their junior year and earned semifinalist recognition based on their scores. The score index for the PSAT is 48-228, with each state having a minimum score to qualify as a national merit scholar semifinalist. This year in Pennsylvania, students must receive a score of 219 or higher to qualify.

Dalton and Kanamarlapudi are both heavily involved in academic and extracurricular activities, and their teachers were not surprised that they were able to achieve these scores. Both students both serve on the cabinet of the National Honor Society and are student representatives for the Avon Grove School District (AGSD) board of directors and the Avon Grove Education Foundation (AGEF).

“It’s really exciting and a testament to all of our hard work over the years,” Kanamarlapudi said. “Our parents are just as excited and proud, too.”

The recognition comes with other benefits as well; national merit scholars are often sought after on college applications, and the title can open the door to more opportunities. Dalton shared, “As a national merit scholar, I may be offered other scholarships from universities.”

Approximately 16,000 students have been selected as semifinalists and will advance to the next round of the competition. To become a finalist, each student must submit a scholarship application that includes an essay, information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, honors, and awards. National merit scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2024 and winners will be announced from April through July.

Dalton and Kanamarlapudi encourage younger students, particularly sophomores and juniors, to begin preparing for their future now. Dalton emphasized, “Study and work hard now, it will pay off later.”

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