National Merit Scholarship semifinalists announced

From+left+to+right%3A+Finn+Greenstone%2C+Garret+Credi%2C+William+Farren%2C+Marina+Atkin%2C+Daniel+Roberts%2C+and+Priya+Rawal
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National Merit Scholarship semifinalists announced

From left to right: Finn Greenstone, Garret Credi, William Farren, Marina Atkin, Daniel Roberts, and Priya Rawal

From left to right: Finn Greenstone, Garret Credi, William Farren, Marina Atkin, Daniel Roberts, and Priya Rawal

Courtesy of Karin Sullivan

From left to right: Finn Greenstone, Garret Credi, William Farren, Marina Atkin, Daniel Roberts, and Priya Rawal

Courtesy of Karin Sullivan

Courtesy of Karin Sullivan

From left to right: Finn Greenstone, Garret Credi, William Farren, Marina Atkin, Daniel Roberts, and Priya Rawal

Martha Newman, Contributor

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On Sept. 12, six students from OPRF placed as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for the 2020 school year. The six students from OPRF are Garrett Credi, Marina Atkin, Finn Greenstone, William Farren, Daniel Roberts, and Priya Rawal. The National Merit Scholarship program rewards 2,500 high school seniors from across the country with $2,500 in scholarships. Since the founding of the program, it has recognized more than 3.3 million students and provided 432,000 scholarships in total, amounting to more than 1.7 billion dollars. 

This program has created a way of recognizing the academic achievements of high school students all across the country. Priya Rawal spoke about her experience through the program so far, and what it takes to become a part of the National Merit Scholar program.

The scholarship is based on being in the top 1% of test scores within your state. “Each state has a different cutoff line,” Rawal said. “You have to fill out an application after being chosen by the National Merit Scholar program, then send in an essay and counselor recommendation.”

To make the top 1 percent, Rawal said she scored 1450 on her PSAT, and that the essay was similar to the Common Application for college, which made it easier to apply.  The scholarship’s fame makes colleges interested, but the recognition is worth more than the money itself.

“I feel bad saying that 2,500 dollars isn’t a lot of money but, for college tuition, it isn’t super helpful. I feel like it is more about the fact that you were a Merit Scholar when you apply to college,” Rawal said. “It isn’t so much about the money.”

National Merit Scholarship finalists will be announced in February.