Prospect students win National Merit Scholarship

By Miranda Holloway
Out of approximately 1.5 million juniors who entered the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program contest last year, four Prospect seniors were named Semifinalists. Seniors Anna Boratyn, Rachel Levenson, Chris Matthew and Justin Wangare part of the less than one percent of seniors in the country to reach this designation.

This was determined by the scores they received in last year’s PSAT/NMSQT. From this point they have the opportunity to continue in the scholarship competition and becoming a Finalist. After the application process about 90 percent of Semifinalists will become Finalists and be eligible to receive the $32 million in scholarships the contest gives out every year.

The designation came as a pleasant surprise to Levenson, who prior to taking the test did not even know about the competition.

“I thought ‘oh I’ll just take this test and it will be preparation for the SAT and I didn’t really get the whole National Merit Finalist thing,” Levenson said.

She found out after receiving an email from College Counselor Dianne Bourne, telling. When she was called down to her office in class one day she expected it to be about a transcript request she had sent in, not to receive the application to become a finalist.

“It was really surprising,” Levenson said.

The application is relatively quick. To be a finalist applicants must write an essay and get a comparable score on the real SAT.

She took the test prep offered by the school in preparation for last year’s test and recommends that, if any current junior is wavering on whether or not to take the test, that they should try.

“I would say to take it even if you don’t think you’d do well because it’s good practice for other standardized tests you might take in the future,” Levenson said.