Phelps qualifies for National Merit Scholarship Program
By Kathryn Purcell
Constantly thinking about it throughout the summer, it left his mind with the excitement of the beginning of his senior year. When student Grant Phelps was called to the office of Morgan County High School, the revelation took him by surprise.
Phelps found out his score on the PSAT qualified him for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
“I was really excited,” Phelps said. “All summer it was on the back of my mind. It kind of caught me by surprise, though.”
Phelps is one of 16,000 National Merit program semifinalists nationwide, and one of 418 in Georgia. In fact, his score put him among the top 60 semifinalists in Georgia.
In the end, 8,200 National Merit scholarships are rewarded in the spring, worth more than $35 million, according to information provided by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
For Phelps, the next step towards becoming a finalist is to prepare an application, provide proof of an “outstanding academic record,” acquire a recommendation from Principal Mark Wilson and, well, take the SAT.
“I’m a little worried about getting that done and getting my college applications done,” Phelps said. “I guess I’ll have to prioritize by date.”
National Merit program finalists will be announced in January, and National Merit Scholars will be announced in March.
Phelps is planning to apply to Yale, as well as other Ivy League schools, and has already been accepted to the University of Georgia. As of right now, he plans on majoring in French.
“Despite his amazing intellect, he has purposely and successfully been a part of things – band and cross country,” Wilson said. “He’s taking a full load here and is taking joint enrollment at UGA.”
Morgan County High School gives the PSAT to all of its students, no matter what grade, each year, although the National Merit program only considers the scores of juniors.