Mount Pleasant High School senior, Sam Pearson, has been named a National Merit Semifinalist. Pearson took the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) as a junior in October of 2018 and scored in the top 1% of all test takers in the state of Texas, thereby earning the recognition as a Semifinalist, one of approximately 16,000 from across the nation. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 PSAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 345,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Sam is planning to major in Electrical Engineering and is applying to Texas A&M at Commerce. He is the son of David and Kim Pearson.

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MPHS Class of 2020 Counselor Jerilyn Goolsby, Sam Pearson, MPHS Principal Craig Bailey