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Eight Washoe County high school seniors win National Merit Scholarships


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation this week announced eight graduating high school seniors from the Washoe County School District (WCSD) have been awarded college-sponsored scholarships beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. 

A dozen WCSD students initially qualified for the scholarship money

The students will receive annual awards ranging from $500 to $2,000 for up to four years of undergraduate study at the colleges and universities of their choice.

This year, 160 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 85 private and 75 public institutions located in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

The eight students, their high schools, the schools they will be attending this fall and their chosen fields of study, are:

  • Piper Elliott, Reno High School (University of Alabama, aerospace engineering)
  • Lloyd Gonzales, Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology (University of Nevada, Reno, computer science)
  • Zachary Hooker, Reno High School (University of Nevada, Reno, environmental engineering)
  • Kemma Kolstrup, McQueen High School (University of Nevada, Reno, biomedical engineering)
  • Max Rock, Incline High School (Arizona State University, aerospace engineering)
  • Rebekah Mayne, Hug High School (Willamette University, library science)
  • Ramona Tobey, McQueen High School (University of Nevada, Reno, computer science)
  • Christian White, Spanish Springs High School (University of Nevada, Reno, astrophysics)

According to the non-profit corporation, more than 1.5 million high school juniors entered the 2021 contest when they took the 2019 preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test.

Some 17,000 semifinalists were named late last year. These students were the highest-scoring entrants in each state. They represent less than 1% of the nation’s high school seniors and have to submit a detailed scholarship application that includes an essay and covers their awards and extracurricular activities to qualify.

Source: WCSD

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