With a score of above 214 on the selection index of the PSAT, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) named eight seniors National Merit semifinalists. NMSC announced the qualifiers Mahdir Anower, Kenneth Clardy, Martina Gooden, Joshua Hannan, Heber Martin, Angelica Phan, Madison Settlage, and Andrew Welsch on Sept. 11.
“To prepare I mostly did practice tests and then went over stuff I didn’t understand with my friends or a teacher,” Angelica Phan said.
After NMSC names 16,000 students Semifinalists nationally, 15,000 of those students become Finalists. Finalists apply for the scholarship; requirements include a recommendation letter, scholarship application, having a high academic record, and taking the SAT. The corporation chooses 7,500 Finalists to award a National Merit scholarship based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments. The selections take place between March and mid-June.
“I hope being a semifinalist will help me find more options for college, as I am very undecided,” Kenneth Clardy said.
Awarding $2,500 annually, the National Merit Scholarship opens doors for other scholarships as well. NMSC offers “special scholarships” to students considered outstanding but not qualifying as Finalists. With a varying amount, Finalists with career plans related to NMSC win Corporate-Sponsored merit scholarships. Select colleges award College-Sponsored merit scholarships to finalists for up to four years of undergraduate study.
“I hope being a national merit scholarship will allow me to become competitive for many prestigious scholarships and allow me to get into my top colleges,” Madison Settlage said.