9 Students Earn National Recognition

3 Pacers achieved National Merit semi-finalist status

Winning the National Merit Scholarship (of $2,500) is one of the highest honors a student can achieve. Because of this, only 55,000 students throughout the U.S earned a high enough PSAT score to qualify for it. Through this rigorous selection the National Merit Foundation hopes to provide scholarships to students who show huge potential and allow them the chance to attend a college. 

Every year about 16,000 students are chosen as Semi-finalists for the Scholarship. Three students from Lakeridge were selected for this honor, Ritchie Fu, Andrew Huang and Josh Li. Six other students were also honored by the Scholarship Board as Commended Scholars, Nolan Berry, Sofia Corso, Rory Detweiler Bedell, Peter Gentry, Mayah Greenfeld, and Angela Su.

To qualify, a student must be currently enrolled in a high school in the US, or District of Columbia. They must also take the PSAT their junior year achieving a score of at least 220, states Compass Education Group, a group that specializes in helping students prepare for the PSAT and SAT. 

Once the board selects the winners of each award, Lakeridge High Principal Desiree Fisher gets the results back. Fisher was able to give us a little insight on how she can get the information out to Lakeridge High Students.

“I get emailed the list of commended scholars and semi-finalists around Oregon from the Scholarship Board, and from that list I create a piece in the newsletter to acknowledge these students,” Fisher said.

Fu, Huang, and Li have all qualified as semi-finalists and because of this, they can reach finalist standing. They are required to submit a full record of every course they’ve taken in high school so far with the grades earned in each class, an endorsement from their principal, and their ACT or SAT score that aligns with their PSAT score. In the past 2 years, no one from Lakeridge High has won the scholarship money.

Another award given out is the Commended Scholar Award, recognizing students who have achieved PSAT scores of a high level and could qualify for semi-finalist position. Mayah Greenfield is one of these students, she recently won the Commended Scholar Award, and explains how it is picked.

“It’s based on the PSAT scores,” Greenfield said. “Whoever scores highest in each state is selected by the college board.” 

This scholarship has become a symbol of academic excellence and a great aid for students who want to attend college. Students have won this award for a variety of reasons including math configurations, coding accomplishments, and activism in their communities. In the future, we hope to have a National Scholarship finalist from Lakeridge High.