National Merit Semifinalist

<p>Im a national merit semifinalist. I was just wondering, how much better does it look on my college application if I become a finalist? Is the essay for the application something I should be worrying about?</p>

<p>15000 students out of the 16000 semifinalists go on to become finalists. The essay doesn't have to be a masterpiece as long as you've got good SAT scores and GPA, but, I suppose, that the better the essay is the better your chances of being one of the finalists that receives money from the national merit corporation (about half the finalists).</p>

<p>Please stop and think about how much you're overanalyzing "what colleges want". There's no clear cut answer. Honestly, do you think there's some sort of statistic on what percentage of semifinalists versus finalists get in?</p>

<p>I think that both look nice on an application. Just another bullet point to add to your list. What will be more important, however, are your activities and essays. Please don't worry so much about trying to guess what will give you a teensy edge and focus on yourself - that's all you can control anyways. Concentrate on your schoolwork and your activities that you enjoy. Colleges want driven, passionate students, not people who worry more about the admissions process than furthering their own education.</p>

<p>Don't freak about the essay, just sit down one night and do it. If you haven't done any college application essays yet, it's good practice</p>