PORTLAND – The University of Southern Maine welcomed 86 students to the 2006 fall semester with merit scholarships based on outstanding academic performance. The awards range from $1,000 to $5,500 and are renewable for up to seven consecutive semesters.

USM offers several types of merit scholarships for first-year, transfer and international students. For more information, call 780-5670.

Area opportunity scholarship recipients are: Sarah Ritz, Gray; Kristen Ferland, Jay; and Ashley Carey, North Anson.

Area Presidential Dirigo Scholarship recipients are: Benjamin Converse, Bridgton; Jennifer Mills, Brunswick; Michael Morin, Fryeburg; Bethany Flannery, Lewiston; Laura Manduca, Monmouth; Heather Hastings, Norway; Jenna Nelson, Poland; Kayla McAlister, South Paris; Aaron Fogg, Topsham; James Morris, Topsham; and Justin Richardson, Turner.

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