During their junior year, BSM students take the PSAT, a standardized test designed as practice for those taking the SAT. Additionally, students who score high enough can become a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship. This year, senior Katie Marusich qualified as a semifinalist.
Out of the 1.6 million students that took it, there are approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide who scored high enough in the PSAT to become a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship, making it a difficult title to obtain. “It’s an honor to have made it that far because there’s a lot of people I know that did well on the test, too, and to be a semifinalist is very exciting,” Marusich said.
To continue on and become a finalist, semifinalists need to take the SAT to confirm that they didn’t get a qualifying PSAT score by chance. They also need to fill out an application with a list of activities, work experience, volunteer experience, and an essay. “It’s sort of similar to a college application, but smaller,” Marusich said.
In addition to the semifinalist, BSM also has eight seniors who earned the title of “Commended Scholar.” Although they won’t be able to proceed with the National Merit Scholarship, these students will receive a Letter of Commendation for being one of the 34,000 Commended Scholars. This is a great honor that the school recognizes. “I am so proud of our students. I know that they will continue to excel both in and out of the classroom as they move on to college and university,” senior high principal Susan Skinner said.
The National Merit Scholarship finalists will be announced in February.