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August 8, 2008

Brilliant, plain smart

Jenny Ballard and Ashlee Sisson are more than brilliant high school graduates who've earned elite National Merit Scholar status.

They're plain smart, too.

That's because Ballard, a graduate of Bolton High in Alexandria and Sisson, who graduated West Ouachita High, have chosen the University of Louisiana at Monroe for their college careers. Ballard may study pharmacy, while Sisson is eyeing math.

Chances are, these two excellent young women could have enrolled just about anywhere they desired. They chose northeastern Louisiana and ULM, where the campus lends such young scholars the personal attention and guidance they need and deserve in order to succeed. ULM is rightfully proud and pleased to have them.

The two young women chose ULM because it's big enough to offer the options of a larger university, but welcoming enough to let these two scholars feel at home.

Achieving National Merit Scholar status is no small feat. There are only about 8,000 National Merit Scholars each year from the 1.4 million who seek that status. The National Merit Scholarship Program awards scholarships to high school seniors based on academic achievement, standardized tests and extracurricular and leadership activities. Ballard and Sisson made it through that difficult process.

Folks around here believe in making their college selection, Ballard and Sisson passed the next great test of their academic careers, too, by choosing the right college. ULM has had two other National Merit Scholars enroll since 2002, and the addition of Ballard and Sisson should help the campus continue to attract the brightest minds.

We congratulate these two young women and wish them well in their college careers.

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