Kentridge High School student wins prestigious National Merit Scholarship

Karanbir Singh - Courtesy photo
Karanbir Singh
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Kent Reporter

Kentridge High School senior Karanbir Singh has been awarded the prestigious National Merit Scholarship.

"I knew I had a chance of winning when I saw my PSAT score – it was above the historical cutoff point for Washington," Singh said. "My family has always pushed me to pursue my passions, and they were extremely happy to see the scholarship news. I'm pumped for college and am looking forward to making an impact."

Singh was among 22,000 applicants for the esteemed award. He is on the wait list at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) so he is planning to attend the University of Washington in the fall.

Singh had to prove excellence at several stages of the award process, starting with a high-scoring preliminary SAT, and by doing so he found himself among less than 1 percent of the nation's high school seniors.

After qualifying to continue on as a semifinalist, Singh proved to the committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors that he could stand out with his academic record, the difficulty of his classes, scores from two standardized tests, and his demonstrated school leadership and community activities.

When he was finally selected as a finalist, his essay and a recommendation by a Kentridge official put him over the top, and he won $2,500 from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Edward Lee Vargas, KSD superintendent, is proud of Singh.

"Only students with the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous university studies in the nation achieve this special honor, and all of us in the Kent School District are so very proud of Karan's tremendous accomplishment," Vargas said.

The combined SAT scores of KSD students in 2011-12 were higher than the state average. Washington had the highest state average in the nation. KSD is the fourth largest school district in the state and is the most ethnically diverse with more than 138 languages spoken.

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