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Recent West Monroe graduates named National Merit Scholars

Posted Date: 05/14/2024

Recent West Monroe graduates named National Merit Scholars

Two recent graduates from the Ouachita Parish School District are among the winners of prestigious scholarships. John Wesley Floyd and Brantley Martin, both of whom graduated from West Monroe High School last week, have been announced as 2024 National Merit Scholarship recipients.

The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. 

Both seniors scored a 35 on their ACT and have maintained a 4.0 GPA thus far in their academic careers.Martin, who was also awarded the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, plans to attend Vanderbilt University in the fall and major in Law. He would like to open up his own firm one day and possibly get into politics.

Martin was the president of the National Honor Society at West Monroe High School, as well as a member of the Student Council and the Junior Civitan Club. He also excels in piano and performed for most of the recitals at the school. 

Floyd was also a member of Student Council, Key Club, Junior Civitan and National Honor Society. 

The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. This award is supported by National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s own funds.

These Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Donations made to the President’s Fund also provide funding for National Merit $2,500 Scholarships.

Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

2024 National Merit Scholarship Competition

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2022 when high school juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state-representational basis.

More than 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition. From the Semifinalist group, over 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2024 program, more than 6,870 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of nearly $26 million in college scholarships.

National Merit Scholarship Corp., a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of scholarships offered each year are underwritten by approximately 320 independent corporate and college sponsors that share its goals of honoring scholastically talented youth and encouraging academic excellence at all levels of education.