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AYER — Principal Don Parker of Ayer High School announced that 20 seniors at Ayer High are among 14,000 students statewide to receive the state’s John and Abigail Adams Scholarship.

The scholarship is available to students whose MCAS performance puts them at the top 25 percent of their district. To be eligible, students must either score Advanced on one exam and Proficient on the other, or Advanced on both the English and math exams.

Parker expressed how pleased he is that so many of the Ayer seniors were eligible for the Adams Scholarship. He said that this is going to open the state college and university system to a lot of students.

Recipients are granted four years of free tuition at any of the nine state or 15 community colleges in Mass.

Governor Romney congratulated students across the commonwealth, “The Adams Scholarship is based on merit and is open to everyone, regardless of whether they are black or white, rich or poor, from a suburban school or an urban setting,” he said. “For families struggling to make ends meet, it’s a way to help with the high cost of college tuition.”

Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey said the Adams scholarship is partly designed to persuade the best and brightest high school students to continue their education in Mass.

“You are the future leaders of our state. We want you to stay in Massachusetts,” Healey said.

“The students receiving this scholarship earned it through their hard work, dedication and commitment to their education,” Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll said. “I’m proud of each and every one of them, and pleased to be able to reward their efforts with this opportunity to continue their education beyond high school.”

Students who receive the Adams Scholarship must complete their college program in four years or less and maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Last academic year, the average tuition per semester was $740 at community colleges, $977 at state colleges and $1,575 at the University of Massachusetts.

Statewide, more than 14,000 students in the class of 2005 qualified for the scholarship.

The following seniors from Ayer High School will be eligible for the Adams Scholarship: Hope Ball, Brooke Bortell, Kate-Lynn Coraccio, Juliana Desouza, Cameron Goodrich, James Hogan, Patricia Johnson, Amanda Jones, Michelle Lamoy, Yicheng Li, Angela Mackinnon, Kathleen Mcguane, Morgan Meagher, Gwendolyn Meissner, Samuel Mrakovich, Seishia Murray, Prajay Patel, Cassie Pommenville, Simon Stock and Douglas West.

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