Five Strake Jesuit seniors earn National Merit status
Congratulations to the following Strake Jesuit seniors who have been named as National Merit Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). These students were among the highest scorers in Texas on the November 2018 PSAT exam.
The students being recognized are:
- Michael Artlip
- Benjamin Camacho
- Alexander Carlson
- Robert Condron
- Nathaniel Fernandes
“When I found out that I was a semifinalist, I was happy that I had earned an achievement that will strengthen my college admissions profile and reduce the financial burden that college can be for families”, said Condron.
Most of these students prepare for the exam long before taking the PSAT. “I started preparing for the PSAT in the summer before my junior year. I took multiple practice tests, and this was by far the best thing I could have done to practice for the test”, said Camacho.
“The most useful method to prepare for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT was taking (and correcting) countless practice tests. In total, I took over 50 practice tests. In my opinion, the most pernicious myth about the PSAT/SAT/ACT is that you’re not smart if you study for the exam. Practice makes perfect”, said Fernandes.
Artlip has some advice for high school students. “Take the test seriously. The PSAT is not a practice test. Work hard and do your best. You may be able to save a lot of money on college”, said Artlip.
Carlson added, “I think that it's important that they know that the PSAT is important for the scholarship opportunities that being a National Merit Scholar provides and that they shouldn't just blow it off”.
These seniors will next compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million to be awarded next spring. Three types of Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in 2020: National Merit $2,500 scholarships, corporate-sponsored scholarships, and college-sponsored scholarships.
More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. 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.