Local students are National Merit Scholars

SUWANEE -- Out of about 2,000 students from throughout the nation named recently as National Merit College-Sponsored Scholarship winners, three are recent graduates of Gwinnett County Public Schools.

The students, which hail from Brookwood, Norcross and Peachtree Ridge high schools, recently learned that the colleges they plan to attend in the fall selected them to receive between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.

The winners are Drew Vander Wood of Brookwood High; Ryan Ward of Norcross High and Kathryn Fitton and Peachtree Ridge High.

The Georgia Institute of Technology selected the scholarship winners from among the finalists in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. Nearly 200 higher education institutions sponsored scholarships through the program.

About 1.5 million students entered the competition the previous school year as juniors by taking the 2010 preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as the initial screening for program entrants. The highest scoring participants in each state were selected as semifinalists.

Finalists were then selected by a review of the students' academic record.

According to its website, the National Merit College Scholarship organization aims to "identify and honor academically talented U.S. High school students to stimulate increased support for their education and to provide efficient and effective scholarship program management for organizations that wish to sponsor college undergraduate scholarships."

For more information about the NMSC, contact 847 866-5100 or visit www.nationalmerit.org.