Education

Phoebe McClincy is BEA’s first National Merit finalist

Phoebe McClincy scored in the top 1 percent of the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test to become Bald Eagle Area’s first National Merit finalist. She will be starting school at Penn State this summer.
Phoebe McClincy scored in the top 1 percent of the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test to become Bald Eagle Area’s first National Merit finalist. She will be starting school at Penn State this summer. Photo provided

Phoebe McClincy is starting to become a household name in the Bald Eagle Area School District.

The 18-year-old from Milesburg is the first BEA student named as a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program — a designation McClincy said she feels “humbled” about.

A year ago if you would have asked me where I’d be, I wouldn’t say here.

Phoebe McClincy, BEA senior

“A year ago, if you would have asked me where I’d be, I wouldn’t say here,” she said. “All of this stuff kind of just came at me, and it’s nice to see all the work I put in pay off. And it is really nice to represent my school like this after all they have done for me.”

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an independent nonprofit organization that offers scholarship assistance to eligible students.

Students, generally juniors in high school, must take the Preliminary SAT or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Those students then need to score in the top 3 percent in the country to qualify for National Merit status.

McClincy tested in the top 1 percent.

“If you score within that range, then you’re notified you made it to the semifinals and then must submit an online application detailing your high school resume with experiences and transcripts sort of like a college application,” she said. “You’re then notified if you advance to the final stage, at which point you and 15,000 other kids are entered into the scholarship pool.”

7,500 of 15,000 National Merit finalists eligible for scholarships through the program

Only 7,500 are eligible for a scholarship through the program.

McClincy couldn’t say on the record whether she received a scholarship through the National Merit program but did talk about other scholarships.

The high school senior was accepted to Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College on a full scholarship through the Millennial Scholars Program.

She was also provided with a $4,500 scholarship through Schreyer Honors College. Once that scholarship is in place, the difference will be paid for by Penn State.

The Millennial Scholars Program financially benefits students studying STEM careers. It requires students going into STEM fields to spend each summer in an internship or co-op program at an institution of the student’s choice.

McClincy also received full scholarship to Penn State through the Millennial Scholars program for students studying in the STEM fields

McClincy graduates from Bald Eagle Area High School on June 3 — just nine days before she’s slated to begin her studies at Penn State.

To help facilitate the transition, McClincy said, she’s made several visits to the University Park campus, and has been in contact with her cohorts through the Millennium Scholars Program.

McClincy plans to major in meteorology, with minors in statistics and Spanish.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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