Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Sept. 30, 2010

Blazers receive Maryland Distinguished Scholars Awards

by Melodi Anahtar, Editor-in-Chief
The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) selected 31 Blair seniors to receive the 2011 Maryland Distinguished Scholars Award. The MHEC named 13 students Distinguished Scholar Finalists, 15 students Distinguished Scholar Semifinalists and three students Distinguished Scholars for Talent in the Arts at Blair. All finalists will receive a $3,000 per-year scholarship if they choose to attend a two-year or four-year college within the state of Maryland.

The Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award encourages students to attend an in state college, such as the University of Maryland shown above. Courtesy of University of Maryland
The Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award encourages students to attend an in state college, such as the University of Maryland shown above.
The Distinguished Scholars program honors high school students who achieve success in academics, the arts, or are National Merit Scholarship Finalists. The award is also meant to motivate students to attend an in-state college, as finalists receive $3,000 for each year they spend in college. Award recipients can renew their scholarships annually and must attend a Maryland institution, maintain a 3.0 Grade point average (GPA) each year of renewal and have parents who live in Maryland. This allows students to earn up to $12,000 in scholarship funds throughout a four-year education. The money can be used for a variety of purposes, such as tuition, room costs and supplies, according to the MHEC website.

In order to receive the award, applicants submitted nomination forms in the second semester of their junior year before career center counselors submitted paperwork to MHEC’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) by March. To be nominated, students had to have a minimum 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale based on their academic classes. Winners were chosen based on their SAT scores before January 2010 or junior Preliminary SAT (PSAT) scores and unweighted GPAs in academic courses. Winners were notified by mail on Sept. 14.

Students who are named Finalists receive the scholarship money, but Semifinalists are able to obtain compensation if a Finalist chooses to deny the scholarship or attend a college outside of Maryland. Of the approximately 4,500 students who applied for the academic achievement category in the 2008-2009 school year, around 6.9 percent were named Finalists. Of the 600 students who applied for the talent in the arts category, around 12.7 percent were named Finalists.

More information about the scholarship can be found at the MHEC’s Maryland Distinguished Scholars FAQ site.

The Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award Finalists for the Class of 2011 are:
Ajay Kannan
Casey Goldvale
Jed Tan
Jennifer Sholar
Lani Matthews
Laura McGehee
Monica Ly
Noah Mason
Robert Ulman
Sandra Yan
Sarah Schwartz
Shilpa Kannan
Thomas Zhang

The Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award Semifinalists are:
Adam Auerbach
Andrew Das Sarma
Ezra Wexler
Fang Cao
Jewel Galbraith
Laura Anthony
Lev Krayzman
Lila Weintraub
Mengze Xu
Natalie Rutsch
Qinlan Shen
Samuel Edelman
Samuel Placanica
Sophia Seidell
Winston Liu

The Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award Finalists for the Talent in the Arts category are:
Peter Leonard
Nicole Turchi
Samuel Placanica

Editor's note: Mandy Xu is News/Entertainment Editor for Silver Chips Online. Casey Goldvale is Online Art Editor for Silver Chips Online. Laura Anthony and Sarah Schwartz are Editors-in-Chief for Silver Chips Print. Jennifer Sholar is Managing Features Editor/Managing Design Editor for Silver Chips Print. Noah Mason is a Photo Editor for Silver Chips Print. Jewel Galbraith is Public Relations Director/ Managing Features Editor for Silver Chips Print. Natalie Rutsch is Distribution Supervisor/Managing Entertainment Editor for Silver Chips Print.



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