Education

3 Coast students earn National Merit awards

Researchers found higher numbers of past-due student loans in predominantly African-American and Hispanic communities.
Researchers found higher numbers of past-due student loans in predominantly African-American and Hispanic communities.

Three Coast students will be receiving $2,500 in scholarship funding from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

National Merit selected Julia R. Grant of Gulfport High School, Sally Reid Boswell of Ocean Springs High School and Joseph A. Hasbrouck of Pascagoula High School after a comprehensive screening. The students represent less than 1 percent of all the nation's high school seniors.

The three were among 15,000 finalists nationwide.

The competition began in October 2014 when more than 1.5 million juniors from 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or PSAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The highest-scoring participants in each state were named semifinalists.

National Merit then selected 2,500 Merit Scholar designees out of the remaining 15,000 finalists.

Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who reviewed information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools. Information included each finalist's academic record and its difficulty, two standardized test scores, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay and a recommendation written by a high school official.

Grant's probable career field choice is broadcast journalism. Boswell plans to pursue mathematics and Hasbrouck said he's interested in international business.

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