Megan Wallgren | Lehi Free Press
Skyridge senior Austin Rollins was named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. He’s one of 16,000 semifinalists nationwide and the only student in Lehi to be recognized. Rollins scored in the top 1% of PSAT takers in Utah last year to qualify.
“I didn’t expect this at all. I’m really honored,” said Rollins. He took the test on the advice of his mother. “She said, ‘Take it. You never know what can happen.’”
Now, Rollins has begun the finalist application process. The National Merit Scholarship program will look at his high school transcripts, SAT scores, activities and leadership roles, a personal essay, and a recommendation from his school administration. Each year, 7,250 National Merit Scholarship winners receive a $2,500-a-year scholarship toward their education.
Many of Rollins’ activities and experiences make him a good candidate for the award. He’s played the mellophone in the Skyridge marching band all four years of high school.
“It’s one of my favorite extracurriculars,” he said. Rollins is also the president of the Skyridge Math Club and a math tutor. Rollins enjoys helping others both as a tutor and through other volunteer work.
“One of my favorite things to do is to work with adults with special needs through SNAPS.” SNAPS stands for Special Needs Activities Program and is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Twice a month, I help put on an activity for adults with special needs, and it’s a highlight for me,” Rollins said.
One fun thing about Rollins is that he has dressed up for school in a suit and tie almost every day since 10th grade. “So, a lot of the teachers and classmates who don’t know me by name know me as ‘the suit kid,’” he said.
Rollins is in the process of applying to several universities in Utah. He also wants to apply to at least one Ivy League school because “you never know what can happen.” He is most interested in attending Brigham Young University in Provo to major in mathematics with an emphasis on mathematics education.
The National Merit Scholarship Program will name the finalists in February.