Four Seniors Named National Merit Scholars

This May, the National Merit Scholarship Program announced its selection of 2,500 scholarship winners, chosen from a pool of 15,000 talented high school seniors across the country. These members of the Class of 2020 will each receive $2,500 scholarships toward college next year. Among these outstanding students are four Roxbury Latin seniors: Avi Attar, David LaFond, Ian Richardson, and Chris Zhu.

The National Merit Scholarship Program selection process began in October 2018, when more than 1.5 million juniors took the PSAT, or the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). This initial screen identified 16,000 Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of the nation’s highest scores. Roxbury Latin had seven semifinalists in a class of 52. Eighteen additional RL boys received commendations, meaning their scores placed them in about the top 4% of all test-takers. All seven of RL’s semifinalists moved on to become finalists, of which there were 15,000 nationally. From there, Avi, David, Ian, and Chris were selected from that group after rigorous review of their RL transcripts, standardized test scores, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, essays, and recommendation letters.

It is a great honor to have four National Merit Scholarship winners in one senior class, a result we have not seen in recent memory. Our National Merit Scholarship winners, in fact, comprise almost 8% of our senior class. Congratulations to all 25 boys who received recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Program this year.