This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
UW-Eau Claire Welcomes
Four Merit Scholars
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: Sept. 1, 1999

EAU CLAIRE — Four incoming University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire freshmen will have their in-state tuition paid for in full for four years by National Merit Scholarships.
Students qualify to win the prestigious scholarships by taking the PSATs, said Joey Gibbon, assistant director of Admissions-operations. From the 1.2 million students who take the PSATs, students must score in the top 1 percent nationally (or top 12,000 students) to be a semi-finalist for the National Merit scholarships.
Of those 12,000 semi-finalists, 6,000 compete and take the SATs. The SAT scores, in addition to recommendations and class rank, are used to determine the finalists.
"Once they are a finalist, UW-Eau Claire will give them a full in-state tuition scholarship for four years," said Gibbon, adding this year the UW-Eau Claire Foundation will fund all four scholarships.
The 1999 National Merit recipients are: Anne Modrzynski, a pre-medicine major from Brookfield; Nicholas Mittermann, an undeclared major from Fish Creek; Benjamin Allen, an accounting major from Barron; and Jared Balkman, an undeclared major from Appleton.
UW-Eau Claire has been an official participant in the National Merit program since 1982, and has averaged three to eight scholarship recipients every year since. This fall, there will be a total of 20 National Merit scholars on campus.
"UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison are the only two schools in Wisconsin that are actual participants in the program," said Gibbon, noting that institutions become participants by having three National Merit students enrolled for three years in a row.
Gibbon attributes UW-Eau Claire's success in consistently attracting top students to several things.
"The number one would be the university's prestige in that we have such solid academic programs that these students want to be here," Gibbon said. "Also, a lot of these National Merits are well-rounded and having a big base of majors and minors to choose from is appealing."
UW-Eau Claire's Honors Program also helps the university attract the National Merit scholars.
The Honors Program provides individual attention and enriched learning opportunities to the top students who attend UW-Eau Claire. The program helps the university more effectively recruit the best high school graduates and to enrich the intellectual life of the campus, said Dr. Ronald Mickel, director of the Honors Program. To participate in the Honors Program, a student must be in the top 5 percent of their high school class and in the top 5 percent nationally on their ACT or SAT scores. The program also invites students to join after they have been here for a semester if they have a 3.67 GPA and at least a 26 ACT composite, said Mickel.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Sept. 1, 1999