Return to Headlines

National Merit Scholar Semifinalists

New Canaan High School seniors named 2019 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

NCHS Merit Scholarship Seminfinalists

New Canaan High School 2019 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists (left-right): Audrey Bloom, Theodore Nelson, Vivian Ding, Christopher Carratu, Tara Chugh, Andrew Jameson, Alexis Axon, Isha Teredesai, and Anna Therese Mehra.


Nine New Canaan High School seniors have been named 2019 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, which honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

The nine semi-finalists, announced earlier this month by officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), are Alexis Axon, Audrey Bloom, Christopher Carratu, Tara Chugh, Vivian Ding, Andrew Jameson, Anna Therese Mehra, Theodore Nelson, and Isha Teredesai. These students are part of a nationwide group of Semifinalists representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.

“Being recognized in the top one percent nationally is a true testiment to our students’ hard work, determination and scholarship,” said New Canaan High School Principal Bill Egan. “We are extrememly proud of their accomplishments.”

Last year, as juniors, the students joined over 1.5 million other juniors in about 21,000 high schools entering the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. This year’s nationwide pool of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

These academically talented high school seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.