Brian was named one of 16,000 semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. It is expected that approximately 95 per cent of the semifinalists will attain finalist standing as they continue in the competition for the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded in the spring, worth nearly $30 million.
“It was very exciting to find out,” said Brian. “After I took the [PSAT] test it takes at least a year and it’s a very long process. For a couple of months I was waiting for my score, and the day before the scores came out I couldn’t sleep. I worried you only had one chance for this and fortunately I received a really great score. Then it was a couple more months until the names were announced for the semifinalist. It was very exciting, it’s such an honor to be considered for the award.”
Brian started the process in October 2020 when he completed the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). After completing the test, students who are American citizens are automatically entered into the program. It's primarily a United States-based scholarship, but international students with American citizenship that complete the PSAT can also apply.
“Internationally there were 89 people selected out of the 16,000 and in Canada there were three people—and I was lucky enough to be one of them,” added Brian.
There are still a few steps left for Brian to become a finalist and be selected to win a scholarship. In February, they will announce the nearly 15,000 students who attained finalist standing. Beginning in April and concluding in July, the National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced.
“Just the process and being named a semifinalist is very honouring,” said Brian. “I’m thankful for Mr. Brown’s IB math classes and all the English classes with Mr. Lundgren and Mrs. Crossley helped me prepare in many ways for this PSAT test.”
While the results are still a ways away, Brian has started to think about his post-secondary plans for next year. Right now he is exploring many options, but says the sciences are what he’s looking into.
“Whatever is in front of me in the next couple of years I hope it will be as fluid and flowing as this scholarship, like keeping up with my academic work and other responsibilities,” he said.