Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School Senior Wins National Mer - KOAM TV 7

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School Senior Wins National Merit Scholarship, $5,000 for college



A senior at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School was notified Monday that he was selected as a winner in the National Merit Scholarship Program, and will receive $1,250 for tuition per year for four years. Joseph W. Hedgcorth, who lives in Jasper, and is the son of Brian and Gaila Hedgcorth, was named a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist in September, and was named a finalist in February.

Hedgcorth’s scholarship, named the National Merit University of Oklahoma Scholarship, will cover $1,250 of his tuition at the school each year. He was accepted into, and plans to attend, the University of Oklahoma in the fall, and said he wants to pursue a career in computers and technology.

All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group, based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments – without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is evaluated by the selection committee including the Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). In September, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists. From the semifinalist group, 15,000 students advanced to the finalist level of the competition, and about 8,000 finalists earned the Merit Scholar title and received scholarship offers.

Hedgcorth was not the only student in the Thomas Jefferson Class of 2014 to receive honors in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Thisbe Scholfield-Johnson and Trevor Spriggs were named National Merit Scholarship Commended Students. Commended students placed among the top three percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the PSAT. “These young people recognized as Commended Students represent some of the best and brightest minds in the country as demonstrated by their outstanding performance in our highly-competitive program,” the National Merit Scholarship Corporation said in a release.

Theo Welch was named a National Achievement Scholar. The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition that provides recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. National Achievement Scholars represent the top two percent of the more than 160,000 students who enter the National Achievement Program each year.

Evadne Rodriguez was named a National Hispanic Scholar. The National Hispanic Recognition Program identifies academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students. The NHRP honors the top two percent of the highest-scoring students from over 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT. These students are from the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Mariana Islands and the Marshall Islands, as well as U.S. citizens attending schools abroad.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT(PSAT) -- a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year -- and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.

For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit http://www.nationalmerit.org

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