Education: Scholarships Galore

For bright U.S. high school graduates these days, scholarships pop up like gold nuggets in a lucky miner's pan. Last week from its headquarters in Evanston, Ill., the National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced the names of 850 winners—a record crop in the biggest, fastest growing privately supported scholarship program in U.S. history.*

When it was launched four years ago, N.M.S. got 19 companies to agree to foot the college bills of deserving youngsters, started off by testing 56,000 students. This year N.M.S. tested 480,000 (32% of all U.S. high school seniors), has 87 sponsors ranging from Sears, Roebuck, which has financed 350...

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