In March, about 8,300 finalists will be selected to receive a National Merit Scholarship award of $2,500, according to the news release.
Winners are selected based on their academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation, student's activities and leadership, and the finalist's essay.
Richard plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin next fall, and Mahmoud is considering UT Austin, The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas A&M University, or Texas Tech University.
Robert E. Lee Principal Gary Brown said it is a special honor to be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program, according to the news release.
“Mahmoud and Richard were selected among an elite group of students,” Brown said, according to the news release. “I am so proud of them and their accomplishments.”