Keyur Shah’s journey filled with hard work and success continues as he has been named a finalist in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. He was presented with a certificate by Headmaster Dr. Beth Smith and Mrs. Kathleen Riddle, K-12 Guidance Curriculum Leader.
Shah, a Shelton High School senior, was entered into the competition as a junior. More than 1.5 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test(PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.
A pool of nationwide semifinalists, which represents less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, were selected. From this pool these academically talented high school seniors had an opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million. According to Shah’s records, he is also in the top 1% of students at his high school.
Shah said his academic achievements didn’t come without putting in years of hard work along with the assistance of a strong support system.
“Both my parents are so supportive of me. My dad actually sat down with me to do some questions in preparation for the SAT’s,“ said Shah. “They’ve always made sure that if I needed a prep book that I had it or needed to go to the library, they’ve taken me. The school has been supportive as well, but my parents and family have been the biggest part of my support system.They have given me opportunities to explore these things more deeply than many other high school students can.”
“This is very special,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet in reference to Shah’s academic excellence. “I am new to the district, but I it takes a lot of support to nurture a student to achieve at this level. I congratulate our formidable student, the family, and all of the teachers who helped along the way. Good news for Shelton!.”
To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalist and a high school official then submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.
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. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.
Although he still has to finish up his senior year, Shah said he has already thought about applying schools such as Princeton, MIT, Carnegie Mellon Uni., Yale, and Harvard where he would major in electrical engineering.
“Winning the scholarship would help me get closer to my goal of studying engineering. However, I am happy just to have made it this far. There are many talented high school students in the competition and I am very proud to have even reached this level. I feel good about my past four years of high school, as I was able to identify a few passions–engineering and public speaking–early and pursue them with focus and devotion. Most of all, I am thankful to have support from my parents and the school system.“