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Aitkin High School senior selected as merit winner

Jeremy Paulbeck

Aitkin High School senior Jeremy Paulbeck was selected as a National Merit Scholarship winner.

Paulbeck, who is the high school's salutatorian, earned a $2,500 scholarship.

The senior plans to attend Hamline University in St. Paul to major in physics. Paulbeck said he has always had an affinity for math and science.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced Wednesday this year's National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.

These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.