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National Merit Corporate Winners Announced

April 23, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 23, 2009 / National Merit Corporate Winners Announced

Nine students from South Carolina high schools receive
corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships

COLUMBIA – Nine students from South Carolina public high schools are
in the first group of winners in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship
Program. They, along with more than 1,000 other high school seniors
nationwide, are receiving corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards
financed by about 200 companies, foundations and other business
organizations.

Recipients of corporate-sponsored scholarships are selected from
program finalists who meet the criteria of the sponsors. Corporate
organizations generally provide scholarships for students who are
children of their employees, residents of communities the sponsoring
company or organization serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or
careers that the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of the scholarships are renewable for up to four years of college
undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to
$10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and
$5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited
U.S. college or university of their choice.

The state had five corporate scholars chosen in 2008. This year two
schools – James F. Byrnes High in Spartanburg District Five and Dorman
High in Spartanburg District Six – had two recipients each. There was
one private school recipient.

Corporate organizations funding these National Merit Scholarships
represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the
business community have underwritten
awards over the past 54 years, expending or committing more than $672
million to
support the intellectual development of the nation’s scholastically
talented youth.

The National Merit program expects to award various types of
scholarships totaling nearly $36 million to about 8,200 finalists by the
conclusion of the 2009 competition.

Pete Pillow
Public Information Associate
Office of Communications
South Carolina Department of Education
1429 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201

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