Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) have announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 58th annual national Merit Scholarship Program.  Prestonwood Christian Academy has three National Merit Semifinalists in the Class of 2013:  Carolina Grace Kennedy, Preston Popoff and Ashley Rothballer.  Also receiving honors as National Merit Commended Scholars are PCA Seniors:  Jason Beckemeier, Jonathan Kim, Austin Pratt and Mitchell Shannon.

“We are so proud of our seven National Merit honorees,” said Dr. Jan Miranda, Director of Guidance & College Placement. “We congratulate these students who have achieved academic excellence.”

The selection for National Merit is based on the PSAT test scores from the junior year.  About 1.5 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools took the PSAT.  The number of Semifinalists in each state is proportional to the percentage of graduating seniors in each state.  About 1,000 corporate-sponsored merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 240 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria.  Additionally, there are 4,800 college-sponsored merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who attend the sponsor institution. 

“Each fall during October, all students at Prestonwood Christian Academy in grades 9-11 take the PSAT and the PLAN.  For 9th and 10th graders the PSAT/PLAN represent practice tests as well as benchmark tests for vocabulary, reading and math.  For 11th graders, the PSAT carries the opportunities for scholarship when the student scores in the National Merit Semifinalist and Commended range,” added Dr. Miranda.