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Three School District Five students named National Merit Scholarship winners

For Immediate Release – May 12, 2021



Three School District Five students named National Merit Scholarship winners

IRMO – Three students from Lexington-Richland School District Five have earned National Merit Scholarships.


Sasha Bacot (Spring Hill High), Paige Maylath (Chapin High) and Jessie Zhao (Dutch Fork High) were named winners of this year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarships.  The awards to these three students were part of the second round of National Merit Scholarship award announcements. Winners of the college-sponsored Merit Scholarship award will be announced next month and in July.


National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.


This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2019 when over 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2020, approximately 17,000 Semifinalists were designated on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.


From the Semifinalist group, some 16,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. School District Five had a total of 7 finalists this school year. Additional National Merit Scholarship awards will be announced nationwide June 2 and July 12.