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Senior Claire Germano named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

Claire+Germano+poses+for+a+picture+while+she+sits+in+the+library+during+homework.+Germano+is+the+only+senior+in+the+Class+of+2018+to+be+named+a+National+Merit+Scholar+Semifinalist.
Claire Germano poses for a picture while she sits in the library during homework. Germano is the only senior in the Class of 2018 to be named a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist.

Claire Germano poses for a picture while she sits in the library during homework. Germano is the only senior in the Class of 2018 to be named a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist.

Photo by Cat Oriel

Photo by Cat Oriel

Claire Germano poses for a picture while she sits in the library during homework. Germano is the only senior in the Class of 2018 to be named a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist.

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The Dining Hall erupted with applause and cheers as interim Upper School Director Gretchen Warner announced senior Claire Germano was selected as a National Merit semi-finalist during an upper school assembly on Sep. 15.

Germano was already informed of her achievement a few days before, but she was a bit taken aback when she heard her name at the meeting.

“I knew that there would be some sort of announcement, but the way that she did it was a bit too sudden for me to realize what happened,” Germano said.

Each October, high school juniors around the country take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In addition to preparing students for the actual SAT, their scores are entered into the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The following September, students that receive the highest Selection Index scores in the country are selected as National Merit Semifinalists. Selection Index scores are calculated by doubling the sum of the Reading, Writing and Language and Math Test scores.

About 1.6 million juniors from 22,000 different high schools took the PSAT test in October 2016. Each year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation names approximately 16,000 seniors as semifinalists based on the scores they received on the exam, according to their website.

I think it’s a really exciting moment for Claire and for the Archer School as well, just because it’s so difficult to be selected for this particular accolade,” Co-Director of College Guidance Gabrielle Dorsey said. “We’re super proud of her, and I hope that she is equally as proud of what she’s been able to accomplish this year.”

Although Germano was the only Archer girl selected as a semifinalist this year, she says that she doesn’t feel any different.

“I’m still Claire,” Germano said. “Statistically speaking, it’s [usually] one [student] out of 100. Archer has one out of 70, so we’re doing well comparatively.”

Ninety-five percent of the semi-finalists will go on to be named finalists in February, and then half of those students will receive scholarships.

There are several requirements Germano and other Semifinalists must fulfill to become a finalist, which she plans to complete.

Germano says she would love to win because her grandmother and her grandmother’s sister have an “unspoken rivalry” when it comes to their grandchildren.

Everyone likes to have bragging rights,” she said.

The National Merit Scholarship program website says they will give $32 million to the 7,500 winners in the spring. Winners will receive either a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship or a merit scholarship sponsored by a college or corporation.

This year’s PSAT will be administered nationally next month on Oct. 11.

“Good luck to all the tenth and eleventh grades taking it this year,” Germano said.

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