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Waisanen named National Merit Scholar

POSTED: June 14, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Colby Waisanen of Rincon has been named a National Merit Scholar.

Waisanen attends Thomas Heyward Academy in Ridgeland, S.C., and will be attending the  University of South Carolina to study pharmacy.

More than 1.4 million juniors in over 21,000 high schools entered the 2007 Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2005 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

Last fall, some 16,000 semifinalists were named on a  state representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the nation’s high school graduating seniors. Semifinalists were the highest scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than 1 percent of a state’s seniors.

To advance to the finalist level, semifinalists had to submit a substantial amount of information and fulfill additional requirements. Each finalist presented an outstanding academic record, was endorsed and recommended by a school official, earned SAT scores that confirmed the qualifying test procedure and provided an essay describing activities, interests and goals. About 15,000 semifinalists met requirements for finalist standing and more than half of this group will be Merit Scholarship winners in 2007.

The total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in 2007 is about 4,600, and these awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

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