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Six Oxford Students Earn National Merit Finalist Status

group photo

The 2020 OHS National Merit Finalists are: (front row, left to right) Lauren Bial, Emmie Stevens, Sophie Quinn; (back row, left to right) Cooper Crawley, Edward Hu, and Donald Rogers.

Oxford, Mississippi (March 24, 2020) — The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced the names of six Oxford High School students who have been named National Merit Finalists. In September, these students were notified Semifinalist status is based on scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) taken during their junior year.

This prestigious title makes these OHS seniors eligible for exclusive scholarships worth more than $32 million, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. In addition to scholarships given by The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC, some 190 colleges and universities around the nation also extend scholarship offers to National Merit Finalists, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Scholarships are awarded based on skills, abilities, and accomplishments as exhibited through a student’s application materials, official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the Finalist’s own essay.

2019-2020 OHS National Merit Finalists:

  • Lauren Bial: Current GPA 4.41, she plans to study Cognitive and Brain Science at Tufts University, She is the Associate and Opinions Editor of the Charger newspaper, Co-president of Anchor Club and Model UN. Multiple awards for design for newspaper, member of Students for Alzheimer’s club and National Honor Society. Bial says her parents, Leigh Bass and Joseph Bial, have influenced her academic success the most.
  • Cooper Crawley: Current GPA of 4.49, Crawley plans to study Aerospace Engineering at Dartmouth, Duke, or Ole Miss. He is an OHS Star Student, made a 35 on the ACT, Completed the National Youth Leadership Forum: Medicine, and has donated his hair twice, once to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and once to Children with Hair Loss. “I feel like my mother has had the greatest impact on my education; she has never let me fail to meet high standards of success and has always pushed me to pursue the most rigorous paths in life, both inside and outside of academia,” said Crawley. He is the son of Bridgett Green and John Crawley.
  • Edward Hu: Current GPA of 4.61 and his top college choices are Harvard, MIT, Princeton where he plans to study Applied Mathematics or Computer Science. Hu is on the OHS varsity tennis team, received USA Physics Olympiad honorable mention, Science Bowl Captain (placed 7th nationally), published a first-authored research paper in CDC Preventing Chronic Disease, Research Science Institute Alumnus, Canada/USA Mathcamp Alumnus. Hu says that his academic success has been influenced by “many of my passionate friends—their passion inspires and motivates me to pursue my own interests—whether it be in research, tennis, or math.” Hu is the son of Xiaofeng Hu and Yi Yang.
  • Sophie Quinn: Current GPA of 4.47, her college choices are Haverford College, Carleton College, Wesleyan University majoring in physics with a minor in French and/or dance. She played Dotty in Noises Off, was chosen by Mud and Magnolias as a Future Influential Woman, is an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a MS STAR student. “My parents have been the most influential people in my academic success- from reading to me as a kid to encouraging me to take the ACT one more time, my parents have always inspired me to learn, succeed, and be happy.” Quinn is the daughter of Susie Adams and Charles Quinn.
  • Donald Rogers: Current GPA of 4.39, he plans to attend The University of Mississippi or The University of Alabama and study Computer Science. Rogers is a National Speech and Debate (NSDA) Academic All-American, OHS Speech and Debate Overall and Public Forum Captain, MS STAR Student, 4th Place in the EJI Essay Contest, and 2nd Place Gold Award in the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Contest. Rogers says that his academic success has been greatly influenced by two OHS teachers- Mr. Mistilis and Dr. Lowe- “because both of them have taught me practical skills as well as making broaden my worldview.” He is the son of Don and Christie Rogers.
  • Emmie Stevens: Current GPA of 4.47, she plans to attend The University of Mississippi or The University of Alabama studying Pre-Dentistry. Stevens is the captain of the OHS tennis team; gold medalist on National German Exam levels 1-3; Visual Arts Award of Excellence; member of Student Council, German Club, Junior Auxiliary Crown Club, National Honor Society, Journalism Staff, and Anchor Club. The person who has been most influential in her academic success is her older sister, Claire Stevens. She is the daughter of Michael and Vicki Stevens.