The PSAT’s are more than just practice, they’re also a chance to earn scholarships as some local students, National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists, well know.
About 1.5 million juniors from 22,000 high schools took the PSAT’s, but only 16,000 are designated semifinalists. From that pool, 1,300 students are selected each year to win scholarship money based on not only PSAT scores, but also their academic record throughout high school.
From the Frisch school, Joshua Fishman, Jonathan Goldman, Abigail Katcoff and Jake Reichel are all semifinalists. Peri Zundell, Bruriah student, is also a semifinalist. MTA has six semifinalists this year: Ori Putterman, Elliot Fuchs, Yitzi Lindenbaum, Daniel Jaroslawicz, Aryeh Klein and Asher Guigui. Avi Hirsch and Aryeh Krisher from TABC are also semifinalists. Though Ma’ayanot does not have any semifinalists, Sara Linder, Keren Neugroschl, Malka Schnaidman, Shira Wolff and Goldi Weiser all received commendations from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
These students are part of a group of less than one percent of all high school seniors countrywide. All finalists are eligible to receive either one of 2,500 scholarships offered by NMSC, one of 1,000 corporate sponsored scholarships, or one of 4,500 scholarships offered by 200 universities. Since NMSC’s founding in 1955, they have recognized 2.9 million students and provided more than 377,000 scholarships worth near $1.5 billion.
Notable past winners include Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Ben Bernake, Bill Gates, Susan Rice, M. Night Shymalan, Felicia Day and Stephanie Meyer. They, and all other winners, “have increased the nation’s respect for intellectual accomplishments and have contributed significantly to its talent pool of future leaders,” according to the foundation’s website.
All schools with semifinalists receive a booklet with a full listing and a warning against using the data to judge the quality of a school.
“Any attempt to compare schools, educational systems, or states on the basis of such data constitutes misuse and will lead to erroneous and unsound conclusions,” according to the booklet.
By Aliza Chasan