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Pinecrest grad named National Merit Scholar

SOUTH FORSYTH -- A Pinecrest Academy graduate has been given a prestigious college scholarship in a final round of announcements from the awarding organization.

Drew A. Bryant, a 2016 graduate of the private parochial school on Peachtree Parkway, was awarded a National Merit Emory University Scholarship, joining about 3,000 other college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in June.

The National Merit Program recognizes students, who, as juniors, earned the highest scores in their state on the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“This is an incredible accomplishment for a school of Pinecrest’s size, and the National Merit Scholar distinction places Drew and [finalist] Garrett [Witt] among the top 1 percent of all students who participated in this important academic competition,” Pinecrest officials said in a graduation announcement.

Pinecrest graduated 67 seniors in 2016.

College-sponsored scholarships like the one Bryant won are awarded by the institution a program finalist will attend and can be between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.

This year, 176 colleges and universities are sponsoring more than 3,800 Merit Scholarship awards.

Sponsor colleges include 99 private and 77 public institutions in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Bryant is among the final group of winners announced, bringing the number of 2016 National Merit Scholars to more than 7,300. These high school graduates will receive scholarships for undergraduate study worth a total of about $33 million.

In addition to college-sponsored awards, two other types of scholarships were offered — 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, for which all finalists competed, and about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who met criteria specified by their grantor organizations.