The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Seniors’ exceptional PSAT scores nationally recognized

Seniors William Crombie and Lyrra Isanberg are first MHS students recognized by the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program in the past several years.
Two seniors are among those across the nation to be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

According to NMSC, its mission is to recognize and honor the academically talented students of the United States.

NMSC is an independent organization that was established in 1955. Every year, it conducts the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP), an academic competition to recognize students and provide them with funds to help pay for their undergraduate education. It has awarded students with scholarships totaling over $1.5 billion in its 60-year history.

According to Marshfield senior counselor Laura Osbon, the NMSP process begins when students take the PSATs during their junior year of high school.

“You can take the PSATs your sophomore year, but you’re not entered into the competition until you take it your junior year,” Osbon said. “Then College Board, that’s the agency that does the SATs and PSATs, they score all the juniors in the U.S. and compare each student’s score with the overall average. You have to score really high, usually in the 95th or 97th percentile, to be a semi-finalist.”

Senior Lyrra Isanberg scored high enough to receive a letter of commendation along with about 34,000 other students nationwide. A letter of commendation gives students access to some special scholarships through corporations and businesses even though they have been eliminated from the competition.

“I was really excited, I didn’t think I did that well but it was nice to see that I actually had,” Isanberg said.

Senior William Crombie scored high enough to make it through the first round of eliminations and become a semi-finalist. He will be continuing on in the competition along with 16,000 other students who scored in the top percentile.

“I was pretty sure I made it. Mr. Miles told me that I scored higher than anyone at Marshfield had for a long time, but it was nice to have it confirmed,” Crombie said.

According to Osbon, the qualifications to become a finalist are much more difficult than becoming a semi-finalist.

“All semi-finalists have to apply. There’s paperwork, I think I have to write a letter, the principal has to write a letter. There’s a lot of heavy criteria, things like volunteer experience, activities experience in school,” Osbon said. “They’re looking at the students who are highly involved.”

In February, about 15,000 semi-finalists will be notified they have made it through to the next round and are now finalists. NMSC selectors then evaluate finalists by looking at many factors including an essay written by the finalists.

In the spring, NMSC notifies about 7,400 finalists that they will be receiving a Merit Scholarship award.

According to NMSC, there are three types of scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship is a $2,500 single payment award that all winners compete for.

There are also corporate-sponsored scholarships that are given to children of their employees or finalists who plan on majoring in an area the sponsor wishes to encourage. These can either be a single payment or renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Finally, there are college-sponsored scholarships given to finalists who have been accepted for admission and are planning to attend a sponsor college. These are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

“The scholarship itself isn’t as big as I thought, but it can move you forward to get more scholarships and more money,” Osbon said.

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Seniors’ exceptional PSAT scores nationally recognized