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Two Mustang High School Students Earn National Merit Semi-Finalist Recognition

Two Mustang High School Students Earn National Merit Semi-Finalist Recognition

(Mustang, Oklahoma – September 11, 2019) – The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced its 2020 list of high school semi-finalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program on Tuesday, and Mustang High School has two students on this list who will compete for a share of over 7,600 scholarships worth more than $31 million. 

Morgan Askeland and Desiree Ricketts earned this honor by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last year as 11th graders; their scores ranked among the 16,000 highest among over 1.6 million test-takers from over 21,000 high schools across the country.  The highest-scoring students in each state represent the pool of semifinalists who, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, represent less than 1% of United States high school seniors.

Morgan Askeland headshot Desiree Rickett Headshot

The next step for a semifinalist to become a finalist is to complete the required application that includes their SAT or ACT scores, an essay and a letter of recommendation by a high school official.  Finalists are then chosen on the basis of academic record, their participation in community and school activities, how they have demonstrated leadership ability, employment and awards and honors received.

From this group of about 16,000 semifinalists, an expected 15,000 will advance to finalists in February, and half of those will win a scholarship.  The National Merit Scholarship winners, deemed Merit Scholars, are chosen on the basis of accomplishments, skills and potential for college success, and are selected from this last group. Winners are notified on a rolling basis, from March to June of 2020.

High school students interested in applying in future years need to talk to their school counselor to make arrangements to take the PSAT/NMSQT test. Registration is through the high school and not by the students. 


About National Merit 

Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions to NMSC are tax deductible by the donor. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. For information on the competition, bit.ly/2lOoQr3


About Mustang Public Schools

The Mustang Public School District covers 69 square miles in Oklahoma and Canadian counties with the City of Mustang at its center. The district is the largest employer in Canadian County, with more than 1,000 employees, including both support personnel and certified personnel. The school district offers a comprehensive compensation package for full-time employees, in addition to a satisfying working environment. There are eight elementary schools (grades PreK-4), three intermediate centers (grades 5-6), three middle schools (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12) and an educational center which houses pre-kindergarten and alternative education.
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