Three seniors earn the National Merit Commended Scholar honors

This title, awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, helps many seniors with college applications


Emma Clement, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Each year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards various titles and scholarships to seniors across the country. This year, three Mill Valley seniors have been recognized; Aiden Burke, Grace Emerson and Noah Webber.

To qualify for National Merit, students must take the PSAT their junior year. Then, based on their scores, they are given a distinction such as Finalist, Semifinalist or Commended Scholar.

The three seniors all received the title of Commended Scholar, meaning they were in the top 50,000 seniors in the country. This academic distinction is one step below the title Semifinalist,  but can still help many students in the college application process.

Senior Grace Emerson initially qualified for consideration by National Merit when she received a high index score on her PSAT, though she was just under the required score for semifinalists.

“Even though I didn’t get a semifinalist [distinction], I still illustrated that I have good standardized test taking abilities and knowledge of math and English,” Emerson said.

Senior Noah Webber agreed that being named a Commended Scholar illustrates his academic ability, especially to colleges.

“It looks really good on college and scholarship applications, because only a relatively small amount of people can say they earned the achievement,” Webber said.

For senior Aiden Burke, not only does this distinction look good on college applications, but it also highlights how hard work in school pays off. 

“It is really exciting and validating because my sister was also a national merit finalist when she was at Mill Valley, so it just felt good [to get recognized for academics],” Burke said.

Emerson agreed that receiving recognition for academics felt great.

“I’m pretty happy with myself considering that I didn’t really study much, or at all, for this exam,” Emerson said. “I just went into it with the knowledge I had so I was proud of myself that I was able to reach that level.”

Webber agreed, saying he was glad to get a high enough score to qualify for a title.

“I’m happy that my hard work in school paid off, and I’m just happy I did as well as I did,” Webber said.

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