Lansing senior enjoys National Merit ranking
Lansing High School's Class of 2008 can boast of the school's first National Merit Semifinalist in five years.
Hal Laurence, 17, is one of 16,000 high school seniors across the nation to be named a semifinalist in the 53rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Based upon the highest scores as juniors in each state on the 2006 Preliminary SAT, 50,000 students were chosen for consideration. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. then narrowed the list to the semifinalists.
Laurence said he expected to be up for consideration but was shocked to be named a semifinalist.
According to the National Merit Scholarship Corp., the semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of current U.S high school seniors, which Linda Tubbs, a LHS counselor, said the school was extremely excited about.
Tubbs said Laurence was the first semifinalist the high school has had in the last five years. At that time, all five of those students went on to become finalists; since then no LHS students have made it past the consideration process, Tubbs said.
She said she expected Laurence to do well and was pleased for him.
But Laurence isn't jumping for joy just yet. While he said it was nice to be named a semifinalist, all that's been proven so far is his ability to take a standardized test. He said the next process to become a finalist, which involves an essay, final SAT scores and counselor recommendations, meant a lot more to him because that's when he can really prove how deserving he may be.
Finalists will be announced in January, but until then Laurence is enjoying the thought of all the scholarships and doors the award could open for his academic future.
He is the son of Harold and Karen Laurence.