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Pewaukee High School senior Melody Geffert is a finalist in this year's National Merit Scholarship Program. She is one of 15,000 students nationwide to earn the designation.

To become a finalist, a student and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application providing information about the student's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received. The student must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, a recommendation by a high school official, a written essay, and SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test, according to a news release.

Geffert is interested in pursuing further studies in literature with the goal of working in book publishing or editing someday. She plans to pursue a major in English and minor in French at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Geffert participates in French Honors Society, National Honor Society, Leadership Club, track and cheerleading.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered this spring. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis, the release said. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by about 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria. In addition, about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

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