Two seniors honored by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

As juniors prepare to take the PSAT on October 16th, two BSM seniors can rest assured theirs was a success. Sam Letscher and Sage Fulco were both awarded high honors for their performance on the standardized test, with Letscher achieving the Semi-Finalist honor and Fulco the commended, putting them in the top three-percent of all those who took the test.

I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did, but it was a welcome and pleasant surprise.

— Sage Fulco

In order to earn these titles Fulco had to out-score 1,450,000 other competitors, and Letscher 1,484,000, making it no small feat. The PSAT, the precursor for the SAT, is the only determinant for winning the scholarship. “Right now the only two levels are commended and semi-finalist, and there are a specific amount of people who actually get the scholarship,” said Letscher.

Along with being one of the most impressive high school honors, there are also some practical benefits associated with the National Merit scholarship program. “I definitely feel more confident in hopefully getting into my reach schools. I don’t think it changed what schools that I was applying to at all, but it makes me feel like I have a better shot of getting into the school that I want to go to,” said Letscher.

Surprisingly, neither candidate this year went into the test with high hopes. “In simple terms, I was quite happy. I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did, but it was a welcome and pleasant surprise,” said Fulco.

The college process is an arduous one, making the PSAT only one step along a very long path for this years seniors.  “As much as I am proud of my score, its impact in my college aspirations and my confidence in fulfilling them has been small. Since the odds of getting into many of these schools is so microscopically small, I try not to get my hopes up too high,” said Fulco.

National Merit Semi-Finalist, Sam Letscher, will continue on in the competition to possibly receive the “Finalist” status, and even win the scholarship itself. “I have the opportunity to move on, and so if my SAT score is high enough then I can become a finalist,” said Letscher.