Two more North Shore students named National Merit scholars

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Two more North Shore students named National Merit scholars
Vijay Paliath is pictured with Mineola High School Principal Whittney Smith. (Photo courtesy of Mineola Union Free School District)

Students from Great Neck North High School and Mineola High School have been designated National Merit Scholars, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced on Monday, joining 20 other North Shore students named winners earlier this year.

Vijay Paliath of Albertson, who attended Mineola High School in Garden City Park, won the National Merit Fordham University Scholarship. Aaron Hakimi of John L. Miller Great Neck North High School, who plans to study medicine, won the National Merit Vanderbilt University Scholarship.

Aaron Hakimi has been named a National Merit Scholar. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Public Schools)
Aaron Hakimi has been named a National Merit Scholar. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Public Schools)

Paliath and Hakimi are among the last round of 550 additional winners, with about 7,500 scholarships expected to be given out this year. The colleges will reward between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of college.

Some 178 universities and colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia are sponsoring more than 4,000 Merit scholarships this year.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a non-profit founded in 1955, has given more than $1 billion with a goal of supporting “outstanding young men and women” in their academic endeavors. Many of these rewards are supported by corporate and college sponsors.

The winners were chosen from 15,000 finalists, representing less than one percent of senior students across the country, from a pool of 16,000 semifinalists who were among the top preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test takers.

Hakimi now joins Megan Xu, Courtney Hakimian, and Kimberly Lu as the fourth National Merit Scholar from the school district. More than 20 seniors from Great Neck North High and Great Neck South High had been finalists in this year’s competition.

Paliath was the lone semi-finalist and finalist from the Mineola School District.

Thirteen student winners from throughout the North Shore had been announced in May this year and seven more were announced in June. The latter group was part of about 3,500 award recipients benefiting from another set of college-sponsored awards.

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