Seniors Receive the Merit Scholar Award

October 13, 2017


Sarah said, “I did not do anything special to prepare for the PSAT. I remember trying to memorize the questions so I could look at the twitter memes later, if that gives you a sense of my mindset. I didn’t expect to get any kind of award.”(Photo Credit: Caitlin Weaver/ Achona Online)

On Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, Academy of the Holy Names Principal, Stephanie Nitchals recognized Sara Phillips (‘18) and Emma Heston (‘18) for receiving the Merit Scholars award. The award was in recognition of their success on the PSAT, which Phillips and Heston took their junior year.  

Heston said, “I’m excited to receive the award because I think it will help me stand out on my college applications.”

The Merit Scholar award is given in recognition and scholarship to high school students and excel of the preliminary SAT, or PSAT. Requirements for this award include being a U.S. citizen, taking the PSAT, and being an enrolled high school student.

Phillips said, “When I got my results back, it was a bit of a wake-up call that I needed to start seriously thinking about standardized tests. My main focus became getting a parallel SAT score and I feel like it was good practice for how to take the test.”

Merit Scholar is given to the top 50,000 of the approximately 1.5 million students that take it each year. This puts them in the top three percent of all juniors who took the PSAT in 2016. These results are found by doubling the sum of the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math test scores. 34,000 of the 50,000 are awarded as commended students while the rest move on as semifinalists, then finalists, and finally winners are chosen based on their skills and accomplishments. Both Phillips and Heston are recognized for being commended students.

Phillips said, “Being recognized at Convocation was a surprise to me, but I was really grateful for the support. People congratulating me in the hallway has been really special. Overall, I just feel really proud to represent Academy with Emma.”

Heston said, “I didn’t do anything to prepare because I had forgotten that it was the day we were taking it, so when I got to school I looked up some PSAT tips before I took it.”(Photo Credit: Audrey Diaz/Achona Online)

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