Ouray has a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist
Written by Administrator
Saturday, 29 September 2012 17:55
By Caleb Stento
Ouray High School student Patrick Link has the distinction of being a National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) semi-finalist.
It's an enormous achievement, and the competition at this level is just as big. As Ouray’s Superintendent/Principal Scott Pankow related, this could have a big impact on Link’s future.
“The doors that will open for him just to be at a semi-finalist level are just incredible,” Pankow said.
Pankow described attributes used as the basis of selection, including “skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.”
Link seems to have met these criteria in spades, both from NMSC’s standpoint and Pankow’s.
“Patrick is just an outstanding kid. He not only does our Knowledge Bowl, he’s in school plays…he’s a well-rounded student and has a very bright future ahead of him,” Pankow said. “He’s looking at everything from Air Force to other institutions. He’s going to do well at whatever he does. This is just another feather in his cap, which he well deserves.”
According to NMSC’s website, its mission “is to recognize and honor the academically talented students of the United States. NMSC accomplishes its mission by conducting nationwide academic scholarship programs.”
The program began in 1955 and screens approximately 1.5 million applicants each year through a vigorous testing process. Of that number, only 50,000 qualify for recognition in the NMSC program. Approximately two-thirds of this group will receive letters of commendation that recognize their academic standing. Just 16,000 students—barely over one percent of the initial pool—qualify as semi-finalists. Semi-finalists are designated on a state by state basis and are the highest scoring entrants in their states.
Semi-finalists have to re-apply to NMSC to be considered in the elite group of finalists. Pankow related that Link has to re-apply, write an essay and do some additional testing. NMSC also takes a close look at the schools before continuing. “It will help that Ouray has an accreditation status with distinction. They will make sure that Ouray is endorsed,” Pankow said.
Winners are then chosen from the pared-down pool of semi-finalists and notified of finalist status beginning in March and continuing through mid-June.