Larson named finalist in National Merit Scholarship compeition

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Larson named finalist in National Merit Scholarship compeition

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50,000- this is the number the National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Corporation acknowledges  for their outstanding test scores. Out of those 50,000 high school students across America, only 16,000 are recognized as semi-finalists. Galena High School senior, Evelyn Larson is one of those students.

To become a semi-finalist, students must reach the selection index, which is 221 for Illinois. After the NMS Corporation recognizes these students, they must fill out an application, which includes an essay, this is what determines who is a finalist. 15,000 out of the 16,000 semi-finalists are finalists. Larson completed this process and finds out in February if she qualified as a finalist.

Becoming a National Merit Scholar is not easy, students have to work very hard to achieve this. Because every junior is eligible for the scholarship just by taking the PSAT, this award shows just how serious someone is, “Becoming a National Merit Scholar shows that you are dedicated to academics” Larson said. The PSAT is a standardized test that lets students showcase all of their knowledge, from reading and writing to math and science.  In order to do well on this test, students have to study and work hard from day one.This is exactly what Larson, because she worked hard and did her best, she did well on the PSAT and is eligible for the National Merit Scholarship.

This is a very prestigious award and can make students more susceptible to receive other scholarships and recognition. “About half (7,500) of the finalists receive a monetary prize, either from the NMS corporation, a business or the school you are planning to attend,” Larson said. Larson will find out sometime in the spring is she received any of these prizes.

Larson plans to study planetary geology. She is an intern at the Planetary Studies Foundation, where she helps with meteorite research. “I’ve wanted to be a paleontologist since I was little, but more recently I’ve realized that I want to do research in a field that deals more with how we can impact the future, rather than just what we can learn about the past.” said Larson. Good luck to Evelyn Larson and all of her future endeavours!

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