Buckhannon home-schooled senior Maria Gjolberg named semifinalist for national merit


BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – Maria Gjolberg, a classically trained home-based senior resident in Buckhannon, has received national recognition for her academic performance on PSAT, a preliminary college entrance exam. She was named a semi-finalist in the 67e annual national merit scholarship program.

Approximately 900,000 juniors from across the country have entered the National Merit Scholarship Program 2022 by passing the pre-qualifying test for the SAT / National Merit Scholarships 2020 (PSAT / NMSQT). From that pool of students, approximately 16,000 were chosen as semi-finalists, representing less than one percent of high school students in the United States and including only the participants with the highest scores in each state.

These semi-finalists will now compete for finalist status and of this selected group approximately half will receive National Merit Scholarships and become Merit Scholars. To become a finalist, each student must submit a detailed application that includes information on the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, honors and awards received, and employment. In addition, the student must have academic approval and reference, write an essay, and achieve SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s prior performance on the qualifying test.

Maria’s older brother, Kyle Gjolberg, was a National Merit Finalist and Merit Scholar in 2010, and her older sister, Mercy (Gjolberg) Sullivan, was a National Merit Finalist in 2015.

This is not the first time that Maria has been recognized for her results in national exams, as she is also a regional scholarship holder of the Classic Learning Test 2020, which means that she scored in the top 5% of her year. geographic region. This area included twelve states in the southeastern region of the United States. Additionally, during her high school years, she received gold medals for her performance on the Latin National Exam, which is administered by the American Classical League. This test is given every March to Latin students in the United States and around the world.

Maria is the daughter of Skip and Donna Gjolberg. Skip is the president of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon, and his wife is a home teacher and educational consultant for the Mother of Divine Grace School based in Ojai, California.

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