A Greenwood student has been named a National Merit Scholarship winner and a semifinalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Kylie Dickerson, a senior at Greenwood High School, will receive a $2,500 National Merit scholarship based on her academic record, school leadership and involvement, community activities, written essay and school recommendation, according to information from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Kylie is one of 2,500 designees chosen from more than 15,000 finalists in the National Merit program, established in 1955 to provide educational financial assistance.

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2011, when approximately 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants, according to a NMSC news release.

Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state-representational basis.

From the semifinalist group, 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 2013 program, about 8,000 finalists will have earned the Merit Scholar title and received a total of more than $35 million in college scholarships.

As a Presidential Scholar semifinalist, Kylie was selected from more than 3,900 candidates on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character and involvement in community and school activities.

Kylie, who maintains a 4.23 grade-point average and scored 34 on the ACT test, is active in FBLA, Spanish Club, Quiz Bowl, Beta Club, National Honor Society and cross country, according to information from Lisa Dean, GHS counselor. She was selected to attend Arkansas Governor’s School, a four-week summer program for Arkansas’ gifted-and-talented high school seniors.

She also won first place in the science competition at the State Beta Club Convention this year, Dean added.

"The academic performance and character of this young lady has been exceptional, and Kylie is well deserving of this honor," Jerry Efurd, GHS principal, said in a news release.

The daughter of Kenny and Tricia Dickerson of Greenwood and the granddaughter of Harold and Grace Dickerson of Ozark, Kylie plans to attend Hendrix College in Conway and pursue a degree in biochemistry.