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Half-dozen seniors receive $2,500 National Merit Scholarships

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. has announced the $2,500 award winners in the Class of 2020, which include six seniors from Fayette County Public Schools. The selection panel deemed the 2,500 merit scholars, who came from a nationwide talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists, to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. These FCPS seniors were among Kentucky’s 32 award recipients in this round of winners.  

From Bryan Station High School:

  • Madeline Farrar, with a probable career field of medicine

Henry Clay High School:

  • Paul Kamer, finance

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School:

  • Grace Goff, software engineering
  • Brian She, finance
  • Ashley Su, biochemistry
  • David Vulakh, computer science

The 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2018 when more than 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools took the PSAT, which served as a qualifying test. In fall 2019, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the country’s high school seniors, became semifinalists. (FCPS had 45 semifinalists.) Of these 16,000 seniors, about 90 percent advanced as finalists. The committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors then appraised a substantial amount of information such as the senior’s academic record, scores from standardized tests, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay, and recommendation from a high school official.  

The May 13, 2020 news release was the second announcement, following corporate-sponsored winners on April 22. Coming up June 3 and July 13, some 4,100 college-sponsored award winners will be named. By the end of the 2020 program, about 7,600 students will have earned the “merit scholar” title and received a total of over $30 million in college scholarships. The scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.



Tammy L. Lane, district webmaster
(859) 381-4236