Four students achieve finalist status

Crystal+Cheung

Alea Jennings

Crystal Cheung

Chloe-Amelie Aikman, Staff Writer

Four students – seniors Crystal Cheung, Ethan Kramer, Robert Schofner and Jessie Yang – have advanced to Finalist standing through the National Merit Scholarship program.

“There’s a certain prestige to it,” Cheung said. “As a finalist, there are a lot of colleges that definitely look at you for consideration; I’m still waiting on some of the decisions.”

To transition from Semifinalist to Finalist, students had to write a 500-word essay detailing some of their personal characteristics, primary goals, interests and other distinguishing qualities paired with a resume to be considered on top of their PSAT scores.

“It means they saw me more as a well-rounded student and not just a test-taker,” Kramer said. “It makes me feel good that a lot of my work has paid off – that all the studying did pay off with something concrete.”

Kramer sees himself potentially going to medical school, and as result of the National Program, may have several debt-free options available to him now for his undergraduate years.

“It’s an indicator of academic achievement,” Schofner said. “I am truly and deeply honored. I’m being recognized by the college board, I’m being recognized by Plant High School [and] I’m being recognized by Florida Colleges for my hard work in my academics.”

Additionally, a congratulatory breakfast will be hosted in their honor, to which the date has yet to be determined.

“I just keep living my life,” Yang said. “Hopefully I’ll get some scholarship money along the way.”

While many state universities award considerable financial aid to Finalists, out-of-state schools also weigh this prestigious honor when accepting students.