This past week, those who received National Merit Semi-finalists were released to the public, and out of the 19 National Merit Semi-finalists who were within the USD 259 District, 18 of them were from East High School! This was also the biggest group from a single school in the state of Kansas!
For those who are unaware of what National Merit is, it’s an accomplishment based on the score you receive your junior year on the PSAT. This year the cut-off for National Merit Semi-finalists was 211. The difference between the PSAT and the SAT score is simply a power of 10. Instead of each section being worth 800, on the PSAT each section is worth 80. So any student who received a score of 211 or higher was deemed a National Merit Semi-finalist!
I couldn’t help but let my jaw drop when I heard how many East students were announced as National Merit Semi-finalists! This set a new record for the number of students receiving this honor at East, the previous record was 12 students. What makes it even better is that I know all of the students who received this honor and know every one of them deserves it because of how hard they worked to get the scores high enough to qualify. One of the 18 happens to be my best friend!
In order then to become a Finalist, each student must send in a variety of items including an essay, that will be reviewed and after those items are reviewed Finalists will be announced in the spring. For each of the 18 at East I have my fingers crossed! Becoming a National Merit Finalist opens a huge number of doors for scholarships from a lot of schools. Most State Universities or Colleges will offer a free ride! While some of the private schools may only offer a smaller amount, it’s still money for college, money you or your parents will not have to pay!
So to all the semi-finalists I wish the best of luck!