Memorial’s National Merit Semifinalists


Memorial boasts many more semifinalist students.

Ian Humphreys, Staff Writer

This September, the National Merit semifinalists were announced and Edmond Memorial High School is showing off their 12 winning students.

Nationwide, the number of semifinalists is less than 1 percent of all high school seniors. With this in mind, schools are very proud and honored to have multiple semifinalists,” assistant principal Mathew Robinson said.

National Merit is a multi-part scholarship for high school students. Starting in their junior year, students take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and the top scores are looked at by the prestigious scholarship program

In the beginning of senior year, students will find out if they are named semifinalists. They will then submit SAT and ACT scores in addition to teacher recommendation letters. The top student semifinalists are then promoted to finalists and generally awarded around two to eight thousand dollars towards their future education.

Not only does being a National Merit finalist award money, it can bring bigger opportunities to life. Colleges would be less likely to reject those students, and even future job opportunities could be much more attainable with this benefit on a resume.

“Every university has their own specifics for National Merit scholarships,” Robinson said. “Just like high schools, colleges like to advertise their National Merit numbers.”

While the reward is beneficial, many people are not willing to put in the effort or have struggles along the way. Numerous things including motivation and academic pressure could block the vision of the end goal.

I found that finding any motivation to do any studying after school was extremely difficult,” senior semifinalist Ben Lin said. “At some point, I realized how many opportunities stem from scoring well on the test and found the drive to study.”

With a lot of challenges or struggles comes ways to overcome them, teachers, counselors and online resources are abundant to help students prepare.

One of our former Memorial teachers, Steve Bowlware, has a great online tutoring session for the ACT and PSAT,” Robinson said.

With help from others, this award becomes a reachable goal, not something to be overwhelmed over.

I owe it all to my fantastic teachers and mentors who have encouraged and shaped me,” senior semifinalist Everett Shinn said.

National Merit is something that anyone can strive to achieve, it just takes time and work ethic.

Contact Ian Humphreys at [email protected]