Senior girl named National Merit Semifinalist


Alison Erani (left) poses with Alex Walter at junior prom last year. Erani was named a National Merit Award Semifinalist.

by Alyssa Messikian, Staff Writer

A senior girl was recently named a semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Alison Erani was qualified as a National Merit Semifinalist by taking the PSAT in October of her junior year. Now a senior at Glen Rock High School, she is waiting to find out whether she’ll be named a finalist or not. She completed an application that included an essay and her school grades.

As for prepping for the test, Erani said she was self-motivated.

“I didn’t really go the traditional route of getting a tutor for the SAT because I am pretty self-motivated and was able to drive the process pretty successfully by myself,” Erani said.

Erani said that she mostly worked with practice tests.

In addition to the exam, Erani also took a heavy course load. This included four AP classes: Chemistry, Physics 1, US History, and English Language and Composition. She also took Spanish Honors IV and Algebra III/Differential Calculus.

Her number one choice of college is the University of Chicago. She has wanted to go there since she was in middle school, and she says that she knows everything about the school. Her other choices are Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Barnard, and New York University.

She is still trying to decide what she wants to study. Her top three majors are biochemistry, public health, and Spanish. Since three majors are not realistic, she is working to narrow the list or find other ways to incorporate everything.

The National Merit program lets semifinalists know whether they have progressed to the finalist round in February 2018. About 15,000 semifinalists are notified through mail. High school principals are informed and provided a certificate to present to each finalist.

As Alison wraps up her senior year, a piece of advice she would give to her freshman-self, would be, “to not be consumed by studying all of the time.” During her high school years her mantra was, “there’s always more work you can do.”

Erani also noted how she would go back and try to make more time for things she enjoys, like reading a book not for school or spending some nights watching The Office. Overall, her advice would be to succeed in school work, but also make time to catch up with friends, and live an enjoyable, balanced lifestyle.