Nineteen Baton Rouge area and three Lafayette area high school seniors were named Wednesday 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 3,200 scholarships in the latest release are sponsored by higher education institutions across the country and the winners plan to attend those institutions. Seventy-four of the names on the latest list are from Louisiana.

Scholarship winners were announced in April and May; 10 were from the Baton Rouge area and four from the Lafayette area. A fourth and final group of winners are to be named in July.

Baton Rouge area scholarship winners named Wednesday are as follows, by school:

  • Catholic High School: Matthew Berdon, Michael Krzystowczyk, Jordan LeBas, Brian Long, Harold Miller, Nicholas Mueller and Andrew Schoonmaker.
  • LSU Lab School: Matthew Johnson, William McKenzie, Isabella Reed and Kathryn Schimmel.
  • Baton Rouge Magnet High: Alejandro Rubiano and Genta Teruyama.
  • Runnels School: Henry Forgey and Andrew Mitchell.
  • St. Joseph’s Academy: Lauren Hingle. 
  • Dutchtown High School: Austin Saizan.
  • The Dunham School: Gabriella Walker.
  • Homeschool: Catherine Ledoux.

Seventeen of the 19 Baton Rouge-area scholarship winners live in Baton Rouge. Saizan and Walker live in Prairieville.

Two of the Lafayette-area National Merit scholarship winners are from Episcopal School of Acadiana in Broussard — Samuel Hebert and Gabriel Olivier — while the third, Noah Prejean, is from Lafayette High School. Hebert lives in Eunice. Olivier and Prejean live in Lafayette.

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.

Follow Charles Lussier on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier