Sam Jones of Newcastle is a Lincoln Academy Senior and National Merit Semi-Finalist.

Sam Jones of Newcastle is a Lincoln Academy Senior and National Merit Semi-Finalist.

Lincoln Academy senior Sam Jones is being recognized this week as a National Merit semi-finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the College Board.  Of the 1.4 million high school juniors who took the PSAT (also called the NMSQE, or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Exam) last fall, 16,000 top scorers were chosen as National Merit semi-finalists.

Jones, who lives with his parents and three younger brothers in Newcastle, plans to study at a four-year college after graduating from Lincoln Academy.  His passion is psychology, and he hopes to go on to graduate school after getting his undergraduate degree.  What is his secret to success on the PSAT? “I have always been a good test taker,” he says.  “Standardized tests and multiple choice questions just come pretty easily to me.”

“It’s so exciting to be able to recognize students, like Sam, for their achievements. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my job,” says Sarah Wills-Viega, Director of Counseling and Studies at Lincoln Academy.  “Sam has some wonderful plans for college and beyond, and we all are looking forward to hearing about his future accomplishments.”

Competition for the next level of the National Merit Scholarship will be challenging.  After being awarded their Semi Finalist certificates, students have the opportunity to continue in a national competition for the Merit Scholarships.  The rigorous application process considers recommendations from teachers, student essays, and high school grades in the selection of 7,600 National Merit Scholars, who will be awarded a total of $33 million worth of college scholarships this year.