SABATTUS – Luther Schalk, a home-schooled senior from Sabattus, has been named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship competition by officials of National Merit Scholarship Corp. Approximately half of the finalists in the competition will be selected as Merit Scholarship winners, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit Program, the not-for-profit organization operates without government assistance. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by its own funds and approximately 500 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Three types of merit scholarship awards will be offered in 2007. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state representational basis.

In addition, some 300 corporations and business organizations will underwrite about 1,100 corporate-sponsored scholarships for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located.

Also, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,600 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

Schalk is educated at home, with oversight provided by North Atlantic Regional High School in Lewiston. He is the son of Charles and Mary Schalk of Sabattus.

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