GECA student named National Merit Finalist

GECA senior Nishant Desai

Nishant Desai, a senior at the Dr. TJ Owens Early College Academy – an alternative high school located on the campus of Gavilan College on 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd. – was named a National Merit Finalist this week.

Selected from a pool of 50,000 eligible U.S. students, Desai, 16, was named a semifinalist in September 2011. Desai was then chosen from a semifinalist group totaling 1,600 students to become a National Merit finalist. He is one out of 8,300 honorees who will receive a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship to help cover college expenses. 

Desai’s finalist status was based on his abilities, skills, and accomplishments, without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, or religious preference. He was evaluated on academic record, information related to GECA’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, GECA’s official’s written recommendation, information about his activities and leadership and a personal essay.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955, according to the organization’s website.



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