St. Thomas More Student recognized as National Merit Finalist

Megan Achbach

Photo Courtesy Rapid City Catholic School System

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Megan Achbach, a senior at St. Thomas More High School has been named a National Merit Finalist and U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Achbach was among 4500 other recipients in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The honor is one of the highest that is bestowed upon graduating high school seniors.

Established in 1964 by an Executive Order by the president, the program was made to recognize the nation’s more distinguished students that excel in academics, artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Every year, up to 161 seniors are chosen from a senior class to attend Washington D.C.

Over 1.5 million juniors entered 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). All together, Achbach represents less than one percent of the U.S. graduating seniors as one of the highest-scoring entrants.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

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