Matthew Brawner, a senior at Holt High School, has been selected as a finalist in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Finalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $33 million. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
Matthew is a member of National Honor Society, is currently enrolled in six Advanced Placement (AP) courses, has scored a 35 on his ACT, maintains a 4.51 GPA, is ranked first in his class and is recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction. He is also on the award-winning Holt Scholar Bowl team and has attended both Missouri Scholars Academy and Missouri Boys State.
In the 2017 Tri-County Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Matthew earned fourth place for his project and also received the U.S. Air Force Certificate of Achievement Award. He has been a member of the Holt marching and symphonic bands for four years, and the jazz band for the past two years. He is a section leader for the marching band, and is a member of Freedom Percussion, a local competitive group. Matthew plans to study chemistry and music at Washington University or St. Louis University following graduation.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT/ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.