National Merit Semi-Finalist
Mollie Wilkinson has been named a National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist, which is one of the most prestigious honors high school seniors can receive.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)—a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Mollie is undecided on where she plans to attend college, but she would like to pursue a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics from either Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or Caltech. She will finalize those plans based on her college scholarship offers once the National Merit Scholarship process is complete. Students who are named as Semifinalists are often provided with numerous academic scholarships, some of which even receive a full 4 years of paid college. The Piedmont School District is very proud of Mollie’s accomplishments and her representation into such an elite group of academic scholars.