April 4, 2012 - Two Pitt County students were named finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. These students are senior Jenna N. Sjoerdsma from Ayden-Grifton High School and senior Meagan E. Briley from J.H. Rose High School.
The National Merit Scholarship Program recognizes students that show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in the rigorous college studies.
Winners of the National Merit Scholarships will be announced in three different stages in the spring, followed by a final one in July. Winners are announced based on the type of award they received and its monetary value. There will be 283,000 Merit Scholars in the end, where about half of the finalists are expected to achieve this honor.
These two students first applied for the scholarship last year as juniors by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. There were about 1.5 million students that entered the program and only 16,000 were chosen as semifinalists.
Briley and Sjoerdsma had to have several things to become finalists: an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying exam.