Malavika Suresh, senior at Maple Grove Senior High, was named a National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winner. Malavika is one of 2,500 Merit Scholar designees chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.
National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who analyzed qualifying criteria: student academic records including 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 written by a high school official.
Malavika is currently participating in Post Secondary Education Opportunity (PSEO), taking all of her senior year classes at the University of Minnesota. Her course load includes high-level classes such as Multivariable Calculus and Differential Equations. Her major is biochemistry and economics.
At MGSH, she participates in speech, debate, math team, and Leadership Council of the National Honor Society. Throughout her high school career, Malavika has volunteered at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale and works as a math tutor at Kumon. She has studied Bharathnatyam (Indian classical dance) for 12 years and currently teaches classes to youth. She plans to study biomedical engineering at Carleton College.
The 2014 National Merit Scholarship competition began in October 2012 when approximately 1.5 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state representational basis. Only these 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From that group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2014 program, about 8,000 finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and receive a total of more than $35 million in college scholarships.