Seven HISD Seniors Win National Merit Scholarships

Seven Houston Independent School District students from high four schools are among more than 2,200 high school seniors from across the country to be selected this week to win National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities.

The students — from Lamar High School, Carnegie Vanguard, Challenge Early College, and the DeBakey High School for Health Professions — received college-sponsored National Merit Scholarships from the University of Houston, University of Oklahoma, University of Tulsa, and Texas A&M University.

The scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. Many post-secondary institutions also award additional scholarships to students who are recognized as National Merit scholars.

“Our scholars have worked incredibly hard in school to earn these prestigious scholarships,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “These financial awards will do more than just pay for their college education. They will inspire our students to continue to aim high — both in college and in life.”

The National Merit Scholarship Program rewards academically talented U.S. high school students who score well on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) with free money for college. Scholarships are provided to National Merit Finalists who have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for college success.

This year, 184 higher education institutions are underwriting scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Program. The college-sponsored scholarship winners are among about 7,600 high school seniors receiving $34 million in National Merit Scholarships this year. Additional college-sponsored scholarship winners are expected to be announced in July.

Earlier this spring, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit Scholarships. Two HISD students won corporate-sponsored scholarships, while another eight were awarded $2,500 National Merit Scholarships.

HISD’s National Merit College-Sponsored Scholarship winners are:

Lamar High School

  •         William S. Coulter II, University of Oklahoma
  •         Zachary E. Nathan, University of Tulsa


Carnegie Vanguard High School

  •         Kiran Keneally, University of Houston

Challenge Early College High School

  •         Peter G. Marks, Texas A&M University

DeBakey High School for Health Professions

  •         Praneeth V. Kambhampati, University of Houston
  •         Rachel M. Shenoi, University of Houston
  •         Rishi R. Wagle, University of Houston