Celebratory breakfast hosted for National Merit Scholars October 21, 2009 — by Saniha Shankar Permalink This year, the school boasted 79 seniors who scored high enough on the PSAT last year to be named commended, semifinalists and finalists for National Merit Scholarships. Fifty-three were commended scholars and 27 were semi-finalists. Finalists will be named later, and most semi-finalists go on to be finalists, assistant principal Brian Safine said. On Oct. 21, a celebratory breakfast took place in the cafeteria for students and their families. “It’s a really nice way for students and their families to celebrate,” said senior semifinalist Diana Lu . “It’s also really exciting to find out who else scored really high on the PSAT” The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a nationwide academic scholarship competition among high school juniors for national recognition as well as college scholarships. The NMSC is a privately funded, non-profit organization founded in 1955. There is usually a total number of 1.4 million entries, of which 50,000 are given recognition. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be enrolled in a high school, be legal U.S. citizens and take the PSAT during the fall of their junior year. The finalists are in the top 1 percent in the nation, but Saratoga High’s graduating senior class of a little more than 300 students has 27 semi-finalists. The finalists will be announced in the spring. Last year, there were 74 honorees: 45 commended scholars and 29 semifinalists, so there is a slight improvement from last year. “I think our high performances on the PSAT each year is a testament to the students’ dedication as well as to the teachers,” said Safine.