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Eight More Seniors Awarded Merit Scholarships

June 11, 2003
Eight Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) high school seniors have won college-sponsored National Merit Scholarships, bringing the total number of MCPS Merit scholars to 33 so far this year.

The local scholars are among 34 winners from Maryland and 2,600 winners nationally who were selected to receive the scholarships financed by colleges and universities. College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually and may be renewed to cover up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

Previously this year, 17 MCPS students won $2,500 awards funded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), and eight won corporate-sponsored scholarships.

The MCPS college-sponsored scholarship winners, intended career fields and sponsoring institutions are:

§ Montgomery Blair High School: Samantha N. Hong, biochemistry/political science, Rice University; Kristin K. Hoven, music education, University of California, Los Angeles; David C. Madej, engineering, University of Maryland; Eric D. Schaffer, psychology, Macalester College

§ Walter Johnson High School: Dylan J. Hodgkiss, field biology, University of California, Davis; Eric I. Newman, medicine, University of Maryland

§ Richard Montgomery High School: Jonathan Ashar, biotechnology, University of Maryland; Lianna N. Zolkower-Kutz, Emory University

The winners were chosen from among Merit Program finalists who will attend those institutions by officials of the 205 private and public colleges and universities who sponsored scholarships.

Students attained finalist status based on criteria such as exceptional performance on standardized tests and in the classroom, strong recommendations from school officials and a statement of goals and interests. The finalists were selected from about 16,000 semifinalists announced last fall. MCPS had 118 semifinalists in the program.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation will announce additional winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarships in July.

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