CADILLAC — Ethan Pritchard, a Cadillac High School graduate, has won a $3,000 scholarship to go toward his student aid at Michigan State University.
Pritchard and fellow Cadillac graduate Alex Netzley both received scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
“It was pretty exciting obviously to be recognized as a national merit scholar,‘ Pritchard said.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has three different types of awards: corporate-sponsored awards, National Merit Scholarship awards and college-sponsored awards, according to a National Merit press release.
Pritchard received his scholarship through MSU where he will be in the Honors College.
The Honors College offers about 200 different undergraduate programs and provides special opportunities. Each Honors College scholar follows a personal curriculum arranged in consultation with a faculty adviser, according to the release.
Pritchard plans to study actuarial science and eventually wants to work at an insurance company as an actuary, someone who uses statistical methods and math to calculate risks for different policies, he said.
The scholarship is for $3,000 total and will be spread out in increments of $750 per year for four years. It goes directly into his student aid funds.
When you’re a college student and trying to make ends meet, anything helps.
“Of course any amount helps with how expensive things are,‘ he said.
This scholarship process has been a long one and started in Pritchard and Netzley’s junior year of high school.
This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2017 when over 1.6 million juniors in approximately 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of the program.
Students qualify as National Merit Scholar semifinalists by scoring in the top percent of the Preliminary SAT.
Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1% of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state representational basis.
From the semifinalist group, some 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.
The fact Cadillac High School had two national merit scholarships is great as some schools don’t have any, said principal Konrad Molter.
He said Pritchard is a hard-working, well-rounded student and “you can’t be more impressed with a young man like that.‘
“You can’t get much better than those two fellows,‘ he said of the two scholarship winners.
His only hope is that some of their success rubs off on future finalists and hopefully other students will want to follow their example.
“They’re just awesome kids,‘ he said.
Pritchard’s proud to win the scholarship and said you always feel good when you accomplish something like this.
He graduated on Sunday and said it was exciting to end an era and start a new one.
He and his fellow students celebrated their achievement of completing 12 years, but it was a little sad because he had fun doing it.
But he’s definitely ready to start a new chapter.
“It’s always fun to start something new and forge on,‘ he said.
Additional recipients of college-sponsored awards will be announced on July 15. By the conclusion of the 2019 program, about 7,600 finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar‘ title and received a total of over $31 million in college scholarships.