Two graduating Howard County high school seniors have been designated as National Merit Scholarship finalists.
Adam Dinkledine and Michael Pike are home educated and both attend classes at Sycamore Covenant Academy, located in the Sycamore Reformed Presbyterian Church building at 300 E. Mulberry St., Kokomo.
Dinkledine and Pike have been awarded merit scholarships, largely as a result of their success in the NMS program. In the fall, Dinkledine plans to study mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University with a full-ride scholarship. Pike is slated to study computer or electrical engineering with a full-tuition scholarship at Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.
Both students have expressed gratitude for the opportunities afforded them this fall.
About 1.5 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 advanced to the finalist level. National Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.