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Twenty VHHS seniors named National Merit Finalists

March 2, 2023 -- Twenty Vestavia Hills High School seniors have been named National Merit Finalists — the most of any high school in Alabama.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced its 68th annual list of Finalists this week, which included Vestavia Hills’ James Anthony, Susan Baskar Raj, Jamie Casey, Haojun Chen, Arman Dolatabadi, Malaika Dsa, Jaxson Dunlevy, Zain Farooqui, Isabella Gentry, Jonathan Gidley, Kate Kaiser, Rebecca Maddox, Mary Katherine Meeks, Philip Mitchell , Alice Sun, Graham Uldrich, Amith Varambally, Erin Visser, Hannah Wright, and Dylan Zhao.

As National Merit Finalists, these students received some of the highest scores on the PSAT/NMSQT test in the state of Alabama. Finalists must also have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their high school principal, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. As a result, these students represent less than 1 percent of all high school seniors in the U.S.

By making it to the finals stage, the students will be considered for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be awarded this spring. The 2023 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in a series of nationwide news releases beginning in March and concluding in June.

The announcement follows a fall semester in which 21 Vestavia Hills seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists, which was the school’s largest cohort in 17 years.