This week, students who qualified to be a National Merit Semi-Finalist were announced. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT during their junior year can become semi-finalists if they have a qualifying score. Only the top one percent of students who take the PSAT can qualify. Then, after an application process, finalists are announced and finally, finalists are awarded with the National Merit Scholarship in February.
This year, Kyle Halveland, Erin McMahon, and William Skaggs qualified to be semi-finalists for the National Merit Scholarship. “Not everyone gets this award,” says Halveland. He is involved in numerous activities such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, band, and soccer. Halveland is most excited to put more on his resume to make him stand out to colleges. “The more you have, the better.”
Will Skaggs attributes his motivation for academic achievement to a desire to “fulfill the potential that I know I have.”
Student Erin McMahon says that her rivalry with her brother is what keeps her motivated to do better. “He only got commended for National Merit, so I’m glad I was able tosurpass that.” She recommends that all students find some type of motivator that pushes them to be better.
None of the students spend a long time preparing for the PSAT. McMahon reasoned, “I’m really good at taking things I’m not ready for, and figuring them out as I go. I’m absolutely good under pressure.”
These students plan to continue on their National Merit path by finishing the application process in hopes of being a finalist in February.