Hall finalist for merit scholarships


A West Liberty High School senior is a National Merit Scholarship Program finalist.

“I found out in August or September that I was chosen as a semi-finalist because of my PSAT score, which I took in October 2021,” Hall said.

Hall scored 1450, she said.

“And I had a perfect score on the math because math is my strong suit,” Hall added. “That definitely brought my score up.”

West Liberty High School Principal Brenda Arthur-Miller received a letter in the mail telling the school district Hall was a finalist with instructions for the next step, Hall said.

She had to fill out an application about her future plans, write an essay and what extracurricular activities she was involved in.

“I want to go to Simpson (College) to study biology,” Hall said.

When she is done at Simpson College she plans to continue her education at the University of Iowa or another dental school to get her degree in Orthodontics. She currently works at her father’s dental practice in Iowa City and is taking classes to become a dental assistant.

There are several scholarship options available through the National Merit Scholarship Program. There are 2,500 scholarships available awarding $2,500 to students, Hall said. Then there are 5,000 corporate sponsored scholarships varying in amounts they award.

“About half of the finalists get some sort of scholarship,” she added.

Hall is involved in a variety of activities and student clubs at West Liberty High School.

“For sports I’m involved in basketball, softball and soccer,” she said. “For other clubs, I’m involved in NHS (National Honor Society), Student Council and FFA.”

She said being involved in a variety of items helped her with her college applications.

“It definitely helps not to just have athletics or academics or extracurricular (activities),” she said. “I have a range of stuff.”

Her advice to her younger classmates is to apply early for scholarships and to get involved in activities at school.

“If there are some you can apply to early do it because it can kind of get overwhelming during your senior year and definitely get involved in lots of extracurricular (activities),” she said. “That definitely helps open more doors to all scholarships.”

West Liberty High School Ag teacher Zach Morris has worked with Hall in the FFA program.

“In terms of a student and as a FFA member, I would say she is extremely unique in terms of her academic ability but also how she conducts herself,” Morris said. “She is incredibly motivated and has an incredible ability to problem solve.”

She isn’t afraid of challenges, which Morris said he really appreciates about Hall.

“She did tell me about this entire process and we worked on a few things with it,” Morris said. “Although this honor is very hard to obtain I was not surprised she was able to get this achievement. What an incredible person.”