Howell Named National Merit Semifinalist

School of Thought

By Betsy Bailey

September 17, 2020

Searcy School District is celebrating the accomplishment of one Searcy High School senior for extraordinary high academic achievement. Abigail Howell, daughter of Alan and Rachel Howell,  has been named a National Merit Semifinalist by the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Approximately 16,000 Semifinalists across the nation were notified that due to their high scores on the PSAT, they are now contenders for the National Merit Scholarship. Howell earned a 1520 on the PSAT. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship ® award, Semifinalists must complete several requirements for advancement. In order for Howell to be named a finalist and ultimately a National Merit Scholar, she will be required to submit a detailed application demonstrating her participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities,employment, and other honors she may have received. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to earn Finalist standing, and about one half of those students will be named as Merit Scholars. Higher institutions across the country strive to enroll National Merit students and many of them receive scholarships from the colleges or universities due to their high achievement.

Howell is active at Searcy High School where she participates in the National Honor Society, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Inquire. Howell remarked after learning of her honor, “I know there are still several steps to go in order to be a finalist, but this achievement will assist me considerably in applying for scholarships to college. I’m really happy that my hard work in school is starting to pay off.” Howell has been accepted to Harding University, but she is also considering applying to Yale, Pepperdine, and the University of Arkansas.Her post college plans are not determined as of yet, but she is highly interested in ecology, botany, writing, and psychology. 

Searcy School District is very proud that one of our own has been named as the recipient of this prestigious recognition. We wish Abigail the very best as she works toward National Merit finalist and Scholar status.