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UW-Eau Claire freshmen named National Merit Scholars

Five of the approximately 2,300 new freshmen enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire this fall have been named National Merit Scholars.

Rebecca Frank, Rochester, Minnesota;Clara Lambrecht, Neenah; Joshua Merrell, Chippewa Falls; Katherine Reiter, Tomahawk; and Rebecca Thomas, Roberts, have been awarded the prestigious honor. The four awardees, all participants in UW-Eau Claire's University Honors Program, bring the total number of National Merit Scholars attending UW-Eau Claire this fall to 13.

UW-Eau Claire is one of the few schools in the UW System that officially participate in the National Merit Scholarship program. About 200 higher education institutions in the nation offer college-sponsored scholarships through the program.

UW-Eau Claire's National Merit Scholars each receive $5,000, renewable for four years with a 3.0 grade-point average, from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

High school students qualify for the scholarship competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. Last September approximately 16,000 semifinalists were named. Those students were then invited to submit a detailed scholarship application.

Some 15,000 semifinalists are advanced to finalist standing, and approximately 8,000 are then named award recipients.

UW-Eau Claire has participated in the program since 1982 and averages from three to eight college-sponsored Merit Scholar awards each year.

“UW-Eau Claire continues to attract high-achieving students, National Merit Scholars included, due to the strong emphasis placed on personal student-faculty interaction, small class sizes and hands-on experiences,” said Zach Boerner, UW-Eau Claire admissions counselor.

“Be it through undergraduate research, study abroad, internships or community service, Blugolds obtain real-world opportunities that help to differentiate them upon graduation,” Boerner said. “Chief among these is our unique University Honors Program, through which students engage with faculty in discussion-based courses offered exclusively for program participants. Priority registration, critical inquiry and independent learning are just some of the advantages Honors students have. High-achieving students enjoy a quality education at an affordable price from an institution that helps to foster their intellectual growth.”

For more information about UW-Eau Claire’s National Merit Scholarship program, contact Zach Boerner at 715-836-3235 or