unnamed-4All Saints Academy is proud to offer excellence in education, and as an independent school in Florida, we strive to provide the very best in the educational experience, from extracurricular activities to curriculum choices. It’s encouraging to us as a school to see our students graduate and enter the world as successful young adults, many of whom receive high-level scholarships, internships, and recognition at various universities and companies around the world. Perhaps one of the most exciting events though is when we have a student selected as a National Merit Scholar.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) provides scholarships to students each year at universities across the U.S. The competition is rigorous, and being selected as a finalist is considered a mark of educational prestige and is a huge honor. The NMSC was established in 1955, and chooses its winners each year based on abilities, skills, accomplishments both in and out of the classroom, and their potential for success in college and beyond. Everything from grades to extracurricular activities are taken into account, and they seek out only the most well-rounded, knowledgeable students to participate in the various stages of the competition.

There is no government assistance with the NMSC. It is an independently supported program, with over 400 loyal sponsors committed to recognizing students for their hard work and outstanding achievements in the academic world. While over 1,000,000 students take the tests and enter each year, only 16,000 of these students will be selected to move on to the semifinalist round, with only 7,500 of those semifinalist becoming National Merit Scholar finalists. Approximately half of these finalists will end up being awarded scholarships of various types, from one-time payments to go toward their higher education to annual scholarships provided each year for the selected student.

As a finalist, a student still has many steps to go through before finding out if he or she will be awarded a scholarship. Academic records will be examined, the high school’s curriculum and grading practices will be reviewed, two sets of test scores will be required, and the student’s high school must provide a written recommendation. Additionally, the student’s activities and leadership roles will be looked at, along with an essay written and provided by the finalist. All of these factors will be used to determine whether or not a particular finalist qualifies to earn the status of National Merit Scholar.

All Saints Academy is thrilled to announce that we have not one, but TWO National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists in our Upper School this year. James Eschrich and William Skipper have worked hard and accomplished much in their time here at ASA, and we couldn’t be more proud of them for making it to this point in their journey to becoming National Merit Scholars! If you see them around campus, make sure to congratulate them, and stay tuned for news of their status in the competition in the coming months!