Avinash Paul a Finalist in National Merit program

The Quakertown Community High School senior is now in line to become a scholarship winner in the prestigious program.
Posted on 02/18/2022
Photo of Avinash PaulBy Gary Weckselblatt

Quakertown Community High School senior Avinash Paul, selected as a candidate for the United States Presidential Scholars Program, has been recognized as a Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in its prestigious program for 2022.

Of 1.5 million students who entered the National Merit Scholarship Program, he is one of 15,000 to be named a Finalist. Avinash’s 1490 score on the 2020 Preliminary SAT served as an initial screen of program entrants, That score is achieved by fewer than 1 percent of today’s U.S. high school seniors.

He later scored 1590 out of a possible 1600 on his SAT. “I was one math question away,” Avinash said.

All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarship awards to be offered in 2022. The selection of some 7,500 Merit Scholarship winners is now in progress, according to an NMSC release.

"Avinash has worked very hard for this rare and extraordinary achievement,” Principal Mattias van’t Hoenderdaal said. “He is someone who challenges himself with rigorous coursework while staying involved in the school community. Avinash’s recognition is well-deserved, and he is a fine example for our students to follow.”

Avinash was named a Semifinalist in September. Later that month, fellow senior Avadar Brownlee qualified as a Commended Student.

In recent years, QCHS has been well represented by National Merit Scholars who advanced from semifinalist to finalist. Last year it was Michael Dennis. In 2020 it was Melissa Nong. The prior year Mikayla Fuentes and Adria Retter each achieved the rare designation.

Each year, students who just missed the semifinalist level received a Letter of Commendation for their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Last year, Matt Catalano and Veronika Durr each received a letter. In 2020, Ian Cummings, Tyler Einolf and Sierra Lee, each received a letter. In 2019, Nam Le and Hailey Reiss were commendable.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].

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