Three students qualify for National Merit Scholarship

From left, seniors William Sims, Astoria Chao and Alex Glascock all qualified for the National Merit Scholarship from their total PSAT scores.

The National Merit Scholarship is offered to high school students based on their PSAT scores, essays and other submitted information such as school grades, and this year seniors Astoria Chao, Alex Glascock, and William Sims are semi-finalists for this scholarship. Rachel Brodhead was a commended student. 

Glascock and Chao scored 1510 on the PSAT, and Sims 1460, out of the total score, which is 1520. Upon getting the best scores, it is still not easy to become a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship. “In October, all Semifinalists submitted additional information like their extracurriculars, a personal essay and other information to help guide their decision. We don’t find out about who earned Finalist status until sometime in February through mail.  After that, about 50 percent of the Finalists will receive a scholarship, which they will be notified of between March and June.  If I do make it to becoming a Finalist, I’m not looking forward to that wait,” Glascock said. 

The National Merit Scholarship doesn’t only help students with their college tuitions, but also gives them recognition, as well as shining bright like a diamond on their resumes. 

“The scholarship is another way to demonstrate your academic ability, and a resume booster, Chao said. “It opens up some scholarship opportunities especially ones within specific schools.” 

As a result of all the effort spent, the seniors are very excited about their prospects.

“My selection as a semifinalist comes as a very nice surprise. I didn’t think my PSAT score was high enough to make it to this round. It is a very encouraging acknowledgment of the work I’ve done throughout my academic career,” Sims said. 

All noted that  it wouldn’t have been possible for them to come all the way without the support of their family, friends and the guidance of Cedar Falls High School. 

“I have been supported by my wonderful teachers and school counselors, as well as my family and friends. Mostly, I couldn’t have achieved this without the continuing support of my parents,” Glascock said. Sims said the most important thing was to develop love toward learning and joy toward studying, which will eventually bloom. Glascock and Chao stressed the importance of “learning how to take standardized tests.” Another suggestion they stressed is to take the practice tests provided from the companies that prepare the tests. It is also possible to work through older published connections, and it is even more helpful if one takes notes on questions one often misses.

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