Bedford High School National Merit Scholarship Scholars Announced

October 25, 2023

Submitted by Bedford High School

Bedford High School announced that six seniors have been named as National Merit Semifinalists, and 14 seniors have been named as National Merit Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

To qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, students need a PSAT score within the top 1 percent of their state.

Daniel Bendersky, Rei Brown, Gabriel Arakawa, Caroline Liu, Hayden McAllister, and Cameron Zhu are National Merit Semifinalists. They are among 339 seniors in Massachusetts, and 16,000 nationally, to reach this honor from a pool of 1.3 million students who took the PSAT as juniors to score at the highest levels. They are now eligible to compete for National Merit Scholarships. 

BHS students named as National Merit Commended Students include Taelyn Albrecht, Bryan Bai, Jacqueline Cutrona, Rachael Hsu, Julia Ke, Evan Kelly, Andrew Lum, Joseph Patterson, Benjamin Sedran, Kaylyn Sethakosee, Zachary Shen, Healy Weisman, and Alex Zhang. They are among 34,000 students nationally who scored at a designated Commended level on the PSAT.

A press release from Bedford High School stated, “This is an impressive number of students considering the size of our school. Massachusetts is one of the most difficult states from which to achieve Semifinalist status. The State’s cutoff score, because so many talented students take the test, is at the highest possible national level. This makes our students’ achievements all the more noteworthy.”

A finalist who completes requirements by Dec. 31 is considered for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Most of these one-time scholarships are supported by NMSC’s funds.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, “The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition among high school students for recognition and college scholarships that began in 1955. The program is conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®), a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance.

“United States high school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which serves as an initial screen of more than 1.3 million entrants each year, and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.”

To learn more, visit

National Merit Commended Students from BHS include (L-R) Zachary Shen, Bryan Bai, Alex Zhang, Taelyn Albrecht, Julia Ke, Andrew Lum , Andrew Lum, Jacqueline Cutrona, Healy Weisman, Kaylyn Sethakosee, Benjamin Sedran, Evan Kelly, Rachael Hsu and Joseph Patterson. Courtesy photo
National Merit Semifinalists from BHS include, from left to right, Gabriel Arakawa, Hayden McAllister, Cameron Zhu, Caroline Liu, Rei Brown, and Daniel Bendersky. Courtesy photo

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