The Student News Source of Sparkman High School

National Merit Nominee

October 18, 2017

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National Merit Nominee

Crimson Crier: Can you define what a National Merit scholar is?

Emily Nguyen: A National Merit scholar is a student that has scored exceptionally well on the PSAT their junior year to qualify as a semifinalist.

CC: How did you quality to be one?

EN: As of now, my score qualified me to become a semi-finalist, and I’ll find out if I’m a finalist in February/March.

CC: Can you describe how you felt when you were presented this nomination?

EN: I guess I felt glad when I found out I qualified because that meant more opportunities for scholarships. I really didn’t realize that becoming a National Merit semifinalist was such a big deal, but it was nice that a little attention was brought on something other than sports at the school.   

CC: What did you do to prepare for this scholarship?

EN: I find that I’m pretty decent on multiple choice standardized tests so not much prep was put into preparing for the PSAT; I just put trust in myself to do my best and finish the test.

CC: Does it open any doors for you college wise? If so, can you explain what that concludes?

EN: In this competition, semi-finalists may receive tuition scholarships from various colleges, but finalists will receive scholarships or stipends of a higher value at some colleges.

CC: Does it open any doors for you in general? If you do what kind of doors

EN: The ultimate goal of being named a semi-finalist is to become an actual national merit scholar. I’ve had to complete an application with an essay so I can hopefully become one of the 7500 kids who win scholarships in the program, but that won’t be announced until around May/June. If I become a finalist, it’ll give me additional scholarships to my top two college choices at the moment, Auburn and Vanderbilt, so hopefully it’ll work out

CC: Are you the first of your family to win this?

EN: I am the first in my family to qualify since my parents were actually immigrants from Vietnam and didn’t get the chance to take the PSAT.

CC: Do you know anyone personally who has won this?

EN: I don’t know anyone personally who’s become a National Merit scholar, but I’ve briefly talked to a finalist last year (Shaun Hartwell) to learn a little more about the benefits of the program at Auburn University.

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