16 Indian American students named Presidential Scholars

List released by the US Dept. of Education.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Sixteen Indian American students are among the Presidential Scholars for 2014, announced by the US Department of Education.

The Presidential Scholar Program was founded in 1964 to honor academic excellence displayed by graduating high school seniors. Out of roughly three million students annually, the US government selects a maximum of 141 students – 121 in hard academic fields, and 20 in the arts – for recognition of their academic achievements.

According to the Department of Education, those who win the honor, which is considered one of the biggest achievements in the US education system, are treated to an incredible experience over the ensuing weeks.

“U.S. Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission during National Recognition Weekend and enjoy an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people. During the weekend, scholars have the opportunity to visit museums and monuments, and to attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House,” it said in a press release.

Roughly 3,000 qualified candidates were examined, at which point their credentials were reviewed. These include things like Grade Point Average, SAT and ACT scores, and other such criteria. By April, semi-finalists are chosen and sent to the Commission on President Scholars, which makes the final decision on who gets awarded.

The following is the list of Indian American students named as President Scholars for 2014 (in alphabetical order):

Hanel Baveja – Ann Arbor Huron High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Pranita Balusu – Rochester High School (Rochester Hills, Michigan)

Surabhi Beriwal – North Allegheny Senior High (Wexford, Pennsylvania)

Abhilasha Gokulan – Central High School (Little Rock, Arkansas)

Siddharth Gupta – Davies High School (Fargo, North Dakota)

Gokul P. Mukunda – Colts Neck High School (Marlboro, New Jersey)

Meghana R. Nallajerla – Milton High School (Milton, Georgia)

Sathvik R. Namburar – Woodward Academy (Duluth, Georgia)

Akshay S. Rajagopal – Lincoln East High School (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Abhishek D. Rao – Caravel Academy (Newark, Delaware)

Karthik W. Rohatgi – Davidson Academy of Nevada (Reno, Nevada)

Rohan Sinha – Bloomfield Hills High School (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan)

Maya L. Srinivasan – Saratoga High School (Saratoga, California)

Nina C. Srivastava – Spartanburg Day School (Spartanburg, North Carolina)

Rajdeep Trilokekar – Skyline High School (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Rajet Vatsa – Brophy College Preparatory (Scottsdale, Arizona)

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