Academic Awards For more than 50 years, Richland and Pine-Richland High School students have been recognized and honored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has two different scholarship programs. The original, National Merit Scholarship program, created in 1955 and National Achievement Scholarship program, created in 1964. Offer students the chance to compete in an academic competition. Both programs have recognized and honored approximately, 104 of the district's high school students.