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Two Local Students Win National Merit Scholarships

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May 13, 2021

By Rick Pezzullo—

Two local seniors were among 2,500 National Merit Scholarship winners named this week that were chosen from a pool of 16,000 students.

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Nicholas G. Papapanou of Irvington High School and Owen M. Dugan of Sleepy Hollow, who is home schooled, will each receive $2,500 in scholarship funding.

Papapanou is planning on pursuing a career in physics. Dugan, who has also been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar semifinalist from nearly 6,500 U.S. candidates, will be attending MIT in the fall as he sets his sights on engineering.

About 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were already named, and on June 2 and July 12, about 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,500 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth roughly $30 million.

Winning students are selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who reviewed information submitted by both the students and their high schools, such as: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation from a high school official.

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