Senior earns national recognition

Almost a year ago, 1.5 million juniors around the country, including some from FHC, sat for the PSAT in hopes of qualifying to be a National Merit Scholar. On Sept. 11, the college board announced to the press the 16,000 semifinalists. Among the 16,000 semifinalists from all over the country, and 6 from the Francis Howell School District, is a fellow Spartan, senior Holly Harrison. Harrison had mixed emotions upon hearing the news .

“I was a little confused, because I didn’t know what was going on since I didn’t hear from the guidance counselors and was congratulated by many of my teachers. But I was really excited,” Harrison said.

Harrison plans on continuing pursuit in hopes of becoming one of the 8,000 finalists of the National Merit Scholarship program. Some of the steps that Harrison and the other semi-finalists will have to do are take the SAT, attain scores that demonstrate the same capability as their PSAT scores, obtain teacher recommendations, as well as write an essay, showing great writing capabilities, and fill out an application. To Harrison, the process is not too much to ask.

“I mean, it is kind of tedious, but I have done most of the same things for college applications,” Harrison said. “The only troublesome aspect is taking the SAT, because I have not taken it yet, but in the end, it is all worth it.”

Finalists then get to compete for one of 2500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships. Some universities and colleges award additional scholarships for National Merit Finalists. This provides a major financial incentive and might impact Harrison’s decision on already committing to Mizzou.

“If I get the scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship, it might change where I want to go to school since I could go to some more expensive schools, “ Harrison said.

In college, Harrison plans on pursuing something science related, such as a pre-medicine program with a major in Biology, because of the many challenges of the field of medicine.

“I feel like it is a very interesting field where you always learn new things,” Harrison said. “It’s not like you learn everything and you’re done. The rest of your life you are constantly learning.”

For any juniors who wish to take the PSAT in hopes of becoming a semifinalist like Harrison, the deadline is this Friday. Sophomores wishing to take it a year early for practice are also able to do so and should turn in their money ($16 in exact cash) by Friday at 12:30 p.m. to guidance as well.