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Goodrich Martian scholar sets sights west after national exam

From left, Macker Wilson, 18, and classmate David Doherty, 17, catch up on some reading at the high school library. Photo by Patrick McAbee. (click for larger version)
April 02, 2014 - Goodrich-Macker Wilson is facing some uncertainties.

However, the 18-year-old high school senior appears to remain calm and confident about his future.

And he should.

Wilson scored somewhere in the top 15,000 of the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or PSAT/NSQT. Not a bad score considering the National Merit Corporation reports an estimated 3.6 million high school students took the exam in the fall of 2013. While the score is not used directly by colleges and universities when they make their college admissions decisions, the results are used for awarding many scholarships, including about 8,200 National Merit Scholarships.

With one semester of high school to go, Wilson, who carries a 3.947 gpa, is already turning some heads across the country.

"I want to make sure I could go to college and not worry about the debt," he said. "I knew if I was to receive a scholarship it would be through academics—that would keep the costs down for mom and dad, too."

So far it's looking pretty good.

Several colleges and universities have already contacted Wilson, including the University of Oklahoma, Arizona State University and the University of Alabama.

"Right now it's looking like I'll be going to Oklahoma for school," he said. "So far their offer for five years of school, which includes at least one year of graduate work, has been best. But I still have time to decide. No major Michigan school has contacted me so far."

While funding or ability does not seem to be an obstacle for Wilson, his area of study is still up in the air.

"I'm considering philosophy," he said. "I use the views of some of the great minds to craft my own thoughts. I've studied aspects of their lives and teachings. I also may pursue a career in math—I've gone as far as I can right now without some type of speciality."

Still, Wilson, a varsity soccer and chess club standout who looks to former NHL goaltender Dominik Hašek for inspiration, attributes his success to the prompting of his parents, Wayne and Janelle Wilson, both teachers, to just give your best effort in all situations.

"During my middle school years I took the ACT practice test," he said. "I became very familiar with a standardized test by the time I was in high school."

Principal David St. Aubin said Wilson was driven to succeed.

"Consider Macker was taking math classes at Michigan State University when a freshman," said St. Aubin. "For a school the size of Goodrich—about 740 students— his score on the PSAT is very rare, it's been many years since that's happened."

"Macker is a very respectful and selfless young man," he added.

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