Byram Hills High School Senior Wins $2,500 National Merit Scholarship

SamaraByram Hills High School senior Samara Brown won a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. She is one of 2,500 Merit Scholars chosen from more than 15,000 finalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the finalists from each state found to have the strongest mix of accomplishments, skills and potential to succeed in rigorous college studies, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Samara will attend Wesleyan University and plans to major in English, for creative writing or literature.

“This impressive achievement does not surprise me given Samara's extraordinary motivation and intellectual curiosity,” said her school counselor, Keara Hunt. “Samara is a gifted student who excels in all academic areas while always remaining true to herself. This scholarship is a testament to her hard work, dedication, and exceptional abilities. I know that Samara will continue to make outstanding contributions in college and beyond.”

The scholarship winners were chosen by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who reviewed the students’ academic record, scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay and a recommendation from a high school official.

Students entered the National Merit Scholarship competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors, which served as an initial screening.