TCA student is a top scorer for the PSAT and recognized by a prestigious scholarship program

"I don't want to waste the opportunities that I've been given."

– Aden, Commended Student for the National Merit® Scholarship Program, Class of 2023

TCA is proud to announce the outstanding achievement of Aden Calinisan as a Commended Student for the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Commended Students are recognized for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit® Scholarship Qualifying Scholarship Corporation (PSAT/NMSQT) qualifying test. Aden is one of the top 50,000 highest scorers (out of 1.5 million scorers) on the PSAT/NMSQT and is assumed to be the first student at TCA to reach this level in the program. Aden plans to continue building on this success by attending University of California Irvine and eventually obtaining a Masters Degree to become a Computer Engineer.

While TCA is delighted to highlight this honorable accomplishment by Aden, not a lot of people understand what the National Merit® Scholarship Program is or even the steps to be considered. If you are curious to learn more about the program, consider reading through some of the frequently asked questions from the program’s website shown below.

Q: How does a high school student enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program?

A: To enter the competition, a high school student must take the PSAT/NMSQT® and meet National Merit® Scholarship Corporation's participation requirements. See "How to Enter the Competition" for further information.

Q: How can students tell whether they have met the entry requirements for the scholarship program?

A: Students should check their PSAT/NMSQT Score Reports to see whether an asterisk appears next to their Selection Index scores. If an asterisk does not appear next to the Selection Index score, then the student is eligible to participate in the competition.

Q: When and how are students notified they are Semifinalists?

A: Students who qualify as a Semifinalist, based on their scores, are notified by their high schools in early September.

Q: How does a Semifinalist become a Finalist?

A: Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements provided in the information they receive with their scholarship applications. These include completing an application, having a consistently very high academic record, writing an essay, being endorsed and recommended by a school official, taking the SAT® or ACT®, and earning a score on the SAT® or ACT® that confirms their PSAT/NMSQT performance. Finalists are notified in early February by mail at their home addresses. A student may also access their Finalist letter through their Online Scholarship Application account.

If you are interested in learning more about the National Merit® Scholarship Program or what it means to be a Commended Student like Aden, visit

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