Senior Corinne Daise named National Merit semifinalist


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Maggie Kroeger, Editor in Chief

Senior Corinne Daise was named as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Daise is the only semifinalist at De Soto High School, and is one out of two students from the USD 232 district that received the honor. 

To qualify to become a semifinalist, Daise had to take the Pre-SAT and score into a certain percentile. 

“Currently I am a semifinalist and in order to qualify you have to have a certain index score in your state, which comes from the PSAT,” Daise explained. “Semifinalists are in the top 1 to 2 percent of scores in each state.” 

For Daise, her semifinalist status serves as a gateway to more scholarships and grants that can be put toward tuition costs and especially acts as a factor when considering out-of-state schools. 

“Being a semifinalist gives me more possibilities for scholarships and different advisors at certain schools,” Daise said. “It [National Merit] definitely helps with my college plans because it makes going out of state more affordable. A lot of out-of-state schools give good National Merit scholarships which would make going out of state cheaper than schools like the University of Kansas or Kansas State.” 

According to Daise, multiple schools in Florida-including the University of Florida- give scholarships that are worth the full cost of attendance for National Merit, making them strong contenders in her college choice. 

Becoming a semifinalist also allows Daise to compete for a position as a National Merit finalist, which offers even more opportunities within higher education. In the United States, there are only 345,000 students that are distinguished as National Merit Scholars. 

“After becoming a semifinalist, I had to fill out an application to become a finalist, which included an essay, questions about my extracurricular activities, my transcript and a letter of recommendation,” Daise said. “Once becoming a finalist, there are scholarships available that are larger than before, and if I accept it, then I become a National Merit Scholar.” 

At the University of Oklahoma, one of Daise’s top choices for continuing her education, there are many benefits offered for National Merit finalists. 

“The University of Oklahoma gives a very large scholarship to National Merit finalists and has a program for National Merit Scholars that would give me many opportunities, such as specific advisors, money for research and study abroad as well as housing with other National Merit Scholars. 

 Senior Maddy Mascareno thinks that Daise’s title of National Merit semifinalist is well deserved. 

“I think Corinne got that honor because she constantly challenges herself. She takes a lot of AP classes and always pushes herself to perform her best,” Mascareno said. “I’ve seen Corinne work very hard for her grades and National Merit title, and she always makes sure that she is prepared.” 

Daise receives news if she is chosen as a National Merit Finalist in February of 2020.