Two Rock Bridge seniors win National Merit Scholarship

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | 12:36 p.m. CDT; updated 8:33 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 13, 2010

COLUMBIA — Two Rock Bridge High School seniors, Tasmeen Hussain and Sidhant Misra, were announced winners of the $2,500 National Merit Scholarship, according to a news release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

"It was a real surprise," Misra said. The May 5 announcement was unexpected because he thought the winners had already been decided and that the competition was over.

As juniors, both Misra and Hussain took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The highest scoring students were named semifinalists.

According to the National Merit Scholarships website, 211 students were named semifinalists for 2010 in the state of Missouri, 11 of which attended Rock Bridge High School.

Finalists were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, according to the release.

They were judged on their academic record, including the difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation letter written by a high school faculty member.

Finalists are able to use their scholarship at any regionally accredited U.S college or university.

Misra plans on spending his summer with friends before he heads to Harvard University in the fall. He plans on majoring in economics, with a minor in government.

Hussain was unavailable for comment.

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