Approximately 1.5 million high school students enter to compete for recognition and scholarships. “National Merit Scholars are juniors who took the PSAT that scored within the top 1% of test takers in the United States,” National Merit Scholar Eva Watson said. Once they are notified senior year that they have qualified as a semi-finalist, there is an application process they must go through.
The application requires high grades, a letter of recommendation, extracurriculars, recognized achievements, and an essay. “To me, to be a National Merit Scholar is to be recognized for hard work. They base your eligibility on the PSAT and a secondary application, and the effort that you put into these matters much more than what you know or what you have done,” National Merit Scholar Katie Liske said.
This year, all three of Marian’s semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholar Program were later named finalists. The three finalists are Eva Watson, Katie Liske and Gracie Kerr. Liske was also nominated for a Presidential Scholar Award.
This program is a national competition that provides college scholarships. “I was motivated to try to become a National Merit Scholar because I have always tried to stay consistently academically-oriented throughout high school. I also knew that the status of National Merit Scholar would help to alleviate some of my financial concerns about college,” National Merit Scholar Gracie Kerr said.
Senior Kate McGill was recognized as a National Merit Commended Scholar.