Senior named National Merit Finalist


Photo by Cameron Murry

Senior Carson McCarver works on a Google Chromebook in his Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism class. McCarver received the National Merit Finalist designation on Feb. 13.

Story by Anna Grace Jones, in-depth editor

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation named senior Carson McCarver a finalist in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

“[Being named a finalist] helps a lot with scholarships and things, especially for accelerating the process of hopefully getting full tuition at some of my top choices, so that was nice,” McCarver said. “It was a long process, but it was exciting to be named a National Merit Scholar finalist.”

McCarver will now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered in the spring.

“As far as I’m aware, the National Merit Scholar Finalist title does a lot more than any of the particular National Merit Scholarships that are available from the corporation,” McCarver said. “Although, they are still scholarships, and I appreciate them all, the finalist status has more bearing on college-based scholarships and opportunities.”

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT). Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

“Everybody treats it as if it’s a big deal because it is relatively rare,” McCarver said. “Everyone that knows about it has congratulated me, and that’s pleasant to say the least.”