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Oxford High School has four National Merit Semifinalists. This is fewer than the 11 last year or the 12 the year before, but is still an outstanding performance. Lafayette County High School has one Semifinalist.
Oxford High School's Semifinalists are William E. Anderson, David M. Dennis, Joonhee Jo, and William G. Tollison. Lafayette County's Semifinalist is Addison E. Roush. Congratulations to these winners, who are now automatically eligible for full-ride scholarships to many universities worth as much a quarter-million dollars!
I'm surprised. I predicted that this year's cutoff would be 205, two points lower than last year. I based this on a two-point drop in the score for commended students, and on the substantial drop in Mississippi critical reading scores. Of course, math and writing scores were up.
The Commended Student cutoff for this year is 201, and this info has been out for quite a while. In 2010 and 2011, and the Semifinalist cutoffs were 203 and 205 respectively, so this year has the largest gap between the Commended cutoff and the NMSF cutoff in Mississippi's testing history.
Most states had a drop in their cutoff score. Alabama, for example, had a four-point drop to tie Mississippi at 207. Alabama's cutoff has tended to be five or six points higher than Mississippi's.
So a 207 Mississippi cutoff means that our state's best students are closing the gap with students from high-achievement states. A large gap still remains, though, as the chart reveals; the Massachusetts cutoff this year is 223.
Source for state cutoff scores: www.collegeconfidential.com