Abbi Stuart and Corbin Cowden are semifinalists for National Merit scholarships and Kailee Amburgey achieved commended status after their performance on a standardized test that placed them among the 15,000 students in the semifinals out of the more than 1 million students who take the test nationwide each year.
The National Merit Scholarship Corp. awards millions of dollars in scholarships to students each year through partnerships with other corporations. Last year, more than 1 million students applied for scholarships and more than 8,000 made the cut to be national merit scholars.
The semifinalists are chosen based on their test scores they receive on the PSAT they took their junior years. From there, Cowden and Stuart completed several essays and tests to qualify to be semifinalists, and they should hear back with those results in a few months.
While high school students are required to take the ACT, the PSAT is voluntary, as is applying to be a National Merit Scholar. Amburgey, who is a finalist for the Roan Scholarship program at East Tennessee State University, said the hardest part for her was that some of the math portions of the exam must be completed without a calculator, and not all the answers are multiple choice.
“It’s one of those things — if you want it, you have to go for it,” she said.
Amburgey and Stuart said they both plan to attend East Tennessee State University to major in nursing, and Cowden said that he hopes to be able to attend Rice University in Houston to major in biomedical engineering.
All three students said the teachers at Crockett were instrumental in helping them with their successes with the tests and scholarship. Stuart said that the English teachers were helpful in her experience.
“Our teachers taught us not only the standards but whatever else we needed to know,” Cowden said. “They’re really good at teaching us how to think.”
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