However, this year a record amount of students were handed that prestigious award. Lewiston High School averages only one National Merit scholarship finalist each year, but this year they have more than that, they have four finalists!
"I've been kind of waiting on edge for a couple months to see if I got it or not because it's always been a goal of mine," said Tristen Beaudoln.
That goal has been met for Tristen, and three other students who continuously strive for academic excellence in all four years of high school.
"I took the PSAT for three years and just kind of practiced with that till I got a high enough score and keeping up on my studies and doing lots of hours of homework," said Heather Spurling.
Out of the one-point-five million entrees across the nation every year, only 15,000 students have what it takes to become a merit-finalist.
These four Lewiston, Idaho students beat the odds! So today, they tell me that their future is now brighter than ever!
"I plan on enrolling in a Petroleum Engineering program," said Lucas Du Chemin.
With the price of college tuition going up day after day, financial assistance from scholarships like these, are especially helpful.
"It means that I can potentially get out of college without a lot of debt," said Hannah Switzer.
Obviously it's too late to apply for a merit scholarship this year, but there's always next year.