Perry Benson is one of 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Semifinalists have the chance to continue in the competition for 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth a total of $35 million that will be offered in the spring. To become a finalist, students must submit an application that shows their academic record, school and community activities, and awards received, and complete a written personal essay.
Benson said being named a semifinalist made his day and took him by surprise.
“Because the chances of being a semifinalist are so small,” he said. “It’s an honor to make the cut.”
In order to qualify, Benson had to score well on the Preliminary SAT as a junior.
Benson said he’s currently looking into colleges and plans to pursue engineering next fall. The son of Steve and Karen Benson participates in Science Olympiad, Interact Club, National Honor Society and ultimate Frisbee at Grand Haven High School.