A Hayes High School senior was recently announced as a National Merit Scholar Finalist.
Andrew Young, 18, said he had heard of but didn’t know anything about the National Merit Scholarship until after he took his Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) last year and scored high enough to qualify.
Young said Hayes High School counselor Jennifer Pollard contacted him and informed him he would need to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to be considered further. Young took the SAT last fall and scored high enough to be considered a National Merit Scholar Finalist.
“I was pretty happy,” Young said. “I’ve always strived to be a good student.”
Young said he is a pole vaulter on the track and field team and plans to attend The Ohio State University this fall.
In his free time, Young said he has several creative interests. His hobbies include filmmaking, woodworking and welding.
Pollard said Young is the only student from Hayes to qualify for the scholarship and added he’s the first since the 2015-2016 school year.
“He’s definitely one of the top kids in his class,” Pollard said.
Pollard added about 16,000 students are chosen as semifinalists and several thousand students are awarded scholarships.
Young said some schools will give full-ride scholarships to National Merit Scholars, but OSU isn’t one of those schools.
According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s website, the corporation awarded $42 million to over 8,500 students last year after they scored high on the PSAT and SAT.
According to the website, a variety of information is taken into account when evaluating finalists, including the student’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and an essay written by the student.
Pollard said the National Merit program is based entirely on a student’s PSAT and SAT score and encouraged students to prepare for and take the PSAT.
“If you don’t take it, you aren’t considered,” she said.