National Merit Semifinalists

Abby Knowles, Feature Editor, Ads Manager

Nine seniors have qualified to be National Merit Semifinalists. One senior, Taara Clarke has also qualified to be a National Achievement Scholar.
“I’m excited to be a semifinalist,” senior Evelyn Fredric said, “I’m proud of my accomplishment.”
Matthew Carpenter, Prahan Chetlur, Taara Clarke, Eric Floyd, Evelyn Frederic, Nicole Jaynes, Sahil Mehta, Naomi Rapier and Paige Welch received a PSAT score above a 218, scoring in the top 1 percent of all Texas students who took the PSAT. They were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for outstanding test performance.
“It’s awesome that I qualified,” Mehta said, “I think it’s great. I’m happy I got it.”
Once the students were recognized as semifinalists, they received applications to become National Merit Finalists and Scholars.
“We go online and fill out a lot of surveys about ourselves,” Rapier said. “We have to write an essay and go through a giant application process.”
Out of the 1.5 million juniors who took the PSAT, these nine students are among the 16,000 seniors that are nominated to become National Merit Scholars. Many of them prepared extensively for this test.
“To prepare for the PSAT, that we took in October, I was in this school prep team called PSAT team,” Jaynes said, “We went to a teacher’s classroom during PIT to practice our math and critical reading skills.”
The Hill Country Education Foundation funds the PSAT team in the hopes of increasing the number of students that become National Merit Semifinalists.
“I am proud to say that all of these National Merit Semifinalists participated in the PSAT Team,” dean of instruction Christa Martin said, “We are thrilled to receive this funding as it is truly making an impact at Vandegrift.”
All National Merit semifinalist will be honored on Sept. 19th during halftime at the football game.