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Four Brevard students among first batch of 2020 National Merit Scholars

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FLORIDA TODAY’s Rob Landers brings you some of today’s top stories on the News in 90 Seconds for April 22.

Florida Today

Four Brevard County high school seniors are among the first batch of students to be named 2020 National Merit Scholars.

The National Merit Scholarship Program announced Wednesday nearly 1,000 students nationwide, including 36 in Florida, have been awarded corporate-sponsored scholarships funded by companies and business foundations across the U.S.

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The awards provide stipends of between $1,000 and $10,000, with most renewable annually for up to four years of college undergraduate study.

Brevard’s winners are:

  • Sarah A. Bahsoun, West Shore Jr/Sr High School (sponsored by Boeing)
  • Kathryn A. Hund, Viera High School (sponsored by Northrop Grumman)
  • Ritika Jeloka, Melbourne High School (sponsored by L3Harris Technologies)
  • Lauren K. Tierney, Melbourne Central Catholic High School (sponsored by L3Harris Technologies)

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The students were selected from the pool of finalists for the National Merit Scholarship competition that met the criteria of their corporate sponsors, which could include being children of company employees, residents of the community or pursuing careers in the sponsor’s industry.

National Merit candidates are chosen based on how they perform on the Preliminary SAT, which tests reading, writing and math, during their junior year of high school. Only the highest-scoring students are chosen as semi-finalists and, ultimately, winners. 

About 7,600 students of the nearly 1.5 million to take the 2018 PSAT will be named National Merit Scholars this year, the program said in a news release. Winners are those who have “the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.”

The winners of the National Merit $2,500 scholarships and college-sponsored scholarships will be announced between May and July.

Eric Rogers is the education watchdog reporter for FLORIDA TODAY.

Contact Rogers at 321-242-3717 or esrogers@floridatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricRogersFT.

Read or Share this story: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/education/2020/04/23/four-brevard-students-among-first-batch-2020-national-merit-scholars/3005071001/

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