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Maier qualifies for National Merit

Lauren Nelson, Opinion Writer

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In Iowa, only 216 students were named semifinalists for The National Merit Scholarship this year. Xavier’s very own Keaton Maier is one of these students. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a program that recognizes academically talented students all across the United States. Only a handful receive the oportunity. According to compassprep.com, the National Merit cut-off became harder this year. With many states changing the minimum by one or two points, Iowa moved up one point, making the requirement more difficult to achieve. Maier was confident in his skills to become a semifinalist.

“After taking the PSAT, which is what they use to calculate who’s going to be a National Merit Semifinalist, I calculated my score with the National Merit score,” Maier said. “I actually qualified for the National Merit the year before, so I assumed that if the score stayed the same I would become one.” Even though he expected to be a semifinalist, he was still honored. “I was definitely excited, it’s really cool.”

The process of deciding the National Merit Scholarship is not as complex as one may think. “Basically what they do is they take the highest score in the state and for Iowa they would go down 216 spots and when they get to that spot, that’s the cutoff for that year,” Xavier guidance counselor Dave Schemmel said. “One year we had five or six semifinalists, but that’s because they scored well on the test”  According to Schemmel, at least one Xavier student qualifies to be a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship each year.  Students do not have to get scholarships purely from the corporation either. According to Schemmel, other schools can and will give scholarships to students for being a semifinalist for the National Merit Corporation.

Every student can submit their PSAT test to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and have the chance to become a semifinalist and finalist. The PSAT test will be held on October 11 from 7:45 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Juniors must pay a $22 fee by October 6 if interested.

Lauren Nelson

Opinion Writer

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Maier qualifies for National Merit