Three high school seniors from the Baton Rouge area and one from Lafayette area were named Monday as winners of National Merit college scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 a year.

About 7,500 high school seniors are winning National Merit Scholarship awards this year out of more than 15,000 finalists.

The 900 scholarships in the latest release, the fourth and final, are sponsored by higher education institutions across the country and the winners plan to attend those institutions. Nineteen of the names on the latest list are from Louisiana.

Scholarship winners were announced in April, May and June; 29 were from the Baton Rouge area and seven from the Lafayette area.

Baton Rouge area scholarship winners named Monday and the high schools they attended:

  •  Hayden Cresson, Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge.
  •  Jack Dalberg, Live Oak High School in Watson
  •  Andrew Ford, Catholic High School in Baton Rouge.
  •  Jennifer Johnson, Westminster Christian Academy.

Cresson and Ford live in Baton Rouge, Dalberg lives in Denham Springs, and Johnson lives in Lafayette. They are attending Fordham, Auburn, Texas A&M and Louisiana State universities, respectively.

The winners were drawn from 1.6 million students who took the PSAT in October 2015 when they were juniors. From that field, first semifinalists, then finalists were selected. A committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors decide the scholarship winners based on academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned. They also looked at scores from two standardized tests, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, a student essay and a recommendation written by a high school official.

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