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Vickers named National Merit Scholar

Sarah Vickers of Winchester is one of 20 high school seniors attending The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky who have been recognized as finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship competition.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, which provides information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school career, 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 advanced to the finalist level. 

More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as the initial screen of program entrants. From this list comes the nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and 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

“It is such an honor to serve so many outstanding students. They have built upon the solid foundation their school districts have offered and taken advantage of every opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge,” said Dr. Lynette Breedlove, director of The Gatton Academy. “While National Merit recognized them for their academic prowess, I am most proud of these students for being remarkable young people who support and serve others, and contribute to the communities of Gatton, Bowling Green, and their home areas.”

Since students take the qualifying PSAT exam in October of their junior year of high school, much of their preparation stems from learning opportunities during their freshman and sophomore years of high school. The Gatton Academy builds on those experiences to provide students with a robust application and preparation for the SAT, a critical component in becoming a finalist.

For more information about The Gatton Academy, visit www.wku.edu/academy or call (270) 745-6565.