Five Berkeley Seniors Earn National Merit Scholarships
Berkeley Preparatory School is proud to recognize five members from the Class of 2016 for being awarded the prestigious National Merit Scholarship, valued at $2,500 each. Seniors Alan Armero, Nick Diaco, Zach Diamandis, Jack Graham and Gabe Villasana were among 2,500 Finalists across the nation selected for the scholarship. The National Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.
To qualify, National Merit 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.
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 two standardized tests; 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 competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2014, when over 1.5 million juniors in 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Berkeley was honored to recognize 11 students this year who were named as National Merit Finalists. Each student was recognized as a Semifinalist in September 2015 and then met the high academic standards to qualify as Finalists. Semifinalists are the highest scorers in each of the 50 states and represent less than one percent of each state’s high school seniors.
These five outstanding students represent the most National Merit Scholarship winners from Berkeley in an academic year.