33 in the Class of 2024 announced as National Merit Semifinalists September 20, 2023 — by Skyler Mao and Lawson Wang Courtesy of National Merit Scholarship ProgramThe National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist is a prestigious position granted to high-achieving students. The California score cutoff was 1,480 this year. Last fall, 1.6 million juniors took the PSAT. Among those who scored highly enough to earn the honor of being National Merit semifinalists were 33 SHS seniors. To qualify as a National Merit semifinalist, a student’s junior year PSAT score must place in the 99th percentile in the state and the top 1.25% in the nation. For California, this year’s selection index cutoff was 221, which translates to a 1,480 out of 1,520 on the PSAT. Over 16,000 semifinalists nationwide will advance to the National Merit Finalist stage based on their academic excellence, demonstrated in an online application. The finalists then compete for over 2,500 scholarships of $2,500 each. The Class of 2024 National Merit Semifinalists are Advaith Avadhanam, Sam Bai, Avik Belenje, Lynn Dai, Sophia Deng, Sanjoli Gupta, Yanis Herne, Victoria Hu, Emily Hung, Madeline Hung, Yashom Kapoor, Zeyneb Kaya, Dev Krishnamoorthy, Katelyn Lee, Bryan Li, Xiaoran Li, Andrew Lin, Alyssa Liu, Jonny Luo, Nikhil Mathihalli, Eric Miao, Uttara Natarajan, Samik Pattanayak, Dhilon Prasad, Dhrithi Rachepalli, Rushil Saraf, Jarrett Singh, Anais Sobrier, Shaolun Sun, Nidhi Vadlamudi, Joseph Wang, Aiden Ye and Matthew Zhang. This year’s number of semifinalists is similar to those in recent classes. The Class of 2023 had 28 semifinalists and the Class of 2022 had 38. Tags: national merit, psat 8 views this weekAbout the contributorsSkyler MaoSkyler Mao, Class of '25, is a Web Editor and reporter for the Falcon staff. He has written primarily in the opinion and news sections; in opinion, he has written about topics such as BYOD, homework due times, ALPR cameras, and more, and in news, he mainly writes about various students accomplishments. Skyler's favorite color is orange and his hobbies include reading and playing chess.Lawson WangLawson Wang, Class of '26, is a starting writer of the 2023-24 staff. He enjoys exploring all types of stories but particularly enjoys life. Outside of journalism, he spends his free time running, playing video games, and studying math.