PHS_Sydney_Morris2017Plymouth High School senior Sydney Morris has been selected as a semifinalist for a prestigious National Merit Scholarship. Morris was required to complete a thorough application and provide the selection committee with academic records and information on her extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and awards that she has received.


Morris currently holds a 4.19 GPA and is ranked 1 out of the senior class of 249 students. She is a member of the Plymouth High School Spell Bowl team, the Chinese Club, and the SEED Club. She is the youngest of five siblings, and outside of school, she enjoys reading, painting, and studying foreign languages. “I have studied Chinese for five years in school and I recently began self-studying Korean,” said Morris.


She started looking into how she could qualify for the National Merit Scholarship during her sophomore year of high school. Morris was chosen from a pool of 1.6 million candidates who took the Preliminary SAT during their junior year. Only 16,000 students nationwide are chosen as semifinalists, and Morris is one of them.


Morris scored 1550/1600 on the SAT. According to, a score of 1550 puts her in the 99th percentile nationally in comparison with all students who took the SAT. According to the website, a score of 1550 is five points above the average score of students who applied to Yale, 20 points above the average SAT score of applicants who applied at Harvard and 60 points above the average applicant who applied to get into the University of Notre Dame.


As for where Morris would like to attend college in the fall, she said she doesn’t know yet. “At this point, I have narrowed my list down to about 10 schools that I am applying to. Since I really like studying Chinese and other foreign languages, I am thinking about pursuing a degree in linguistics. I am also interested in genetics, though, so I might try to double major in linguistics and genetics or linguistics and biology.”


This February, semifinalists that have been chosen as finalists for National Merit scholarships will be announced. Then in April, 7,500 winners of the National Merit Scholarship will be officially announced.