Aliso Announces National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists


National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists

Cris Pineda, Senior Editor

The National Merit Scholarship is an Academic Scholarship competition to recognize those who took the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT)—usually by juniors—created by a non-profit organization based in Evanston, Illinois. The PSAT for this year is designated for qualifying for a scholarship that will be awarded in 2021.

     At our school, there were six semi-finalists which were Evan Comiskey, Alison King, Christopher Kostov, Megan Lee, and Emily Richards who were qualified to be finalists. National Merit Scholarships provide $2,500 towards the student’s freshman year of college. Even better, winning this scholarship is prestigious. It allows for better chances into college enrollment especially this year having many schools not allow the entrance to an SAT. 

     Alison King (12), notes that “Overall I feel pretty honored since becoming a semi-finalist is very selective. I studied a lot for the SAT which then translated when I took the PSAT and got a high enough score to become a semi-finalist.” 

     Out of 50,000 students that scored high enough on the PSAT, one-third of them qualified to be semi-finalists and out of that, only a couple became finalists. Becoming finalists allows the student to get a letter of recommendation from the National Merit Committee for college applications which is a huge benefit for many students.

     Megan Lee (12) states that “I’m really happy that I got to the semifinalist stage because I really did work hard to get a good score on the SAT. Especially now that colleges aren’t putting as much emphasis on the SAT and ACT, I’m glad that my effort paid off this way at least.”

     She also further states that she has spent an entire summer and school year studying for the SAT. While the SAT is not a priority to many colleges currently, this is a benefit for the finalists as it gives people who win an advantage in their applications. On Feb. 8, 2021 the finalists will be announced.