National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program are, in the front row, Julianne Binto, daughter of Binto Geoge and Susan Mathai of Bettendorf; Anagha Sudhindra, daughter of Ravindra Sudhindra and Jayashree Karnam of Bettendorf; Gretchen Highberger, daughter of William and Michelle Highberger of Bettendorf; Khushi Mehta, daughter of Nilesh and Rajani Mehta of Bettendorf; Shobini Iyer, daughter of Subbu Natarajan and Sujata Srinivasan of Bettendorf. In back are Bruce Allin, son of Brian and Maribeth Allin of Bettendorf; Joshua Thomas, son of Marcus and Erina Thomas of Davenport; Tejus Kanathur, son of Naveen Kanathur and Seema Narve of Bettendorf; Kushal Maridu, son of Kote and Gowthami Maridu of Bettendorf, (contributed photo)

Faculty and staff of Pleasant Valley Community High School have announced that these seniors were recently honored as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

To  become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.  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 on the  qualifying test. 

From about 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level and in February, they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this Finalist group. 

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join some 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar  title.