This year’s John & Abigail Adams Scholarship winners are, bottom row left to right: Vanessa Delk, Nasia Bykov-Newry, Nicholas Lunardo, Devin Cannava, Ariel Velasquez, Clay Gensel, Nicholas Granger, Tyler Meehan, Dylan Wade,   Shaunessy Straitiff, Dimitri Battle, Danielle Varner, William Schilp, Kristen Harder; top row  left to right: Cassidy Wenstrom, Abigail Clemence, Brooke Venkitachalam, Deja Fleurancois, Spencer Lee, Davis Preston, Michael Woodland, Anthony Mavilia, Bryce Denmark, Dana Maloney, Deran Quinty, Julia Alo, Christopher Govang, Minda Tieran, Lucas Monteiro, Samantha Abrams, 

AYER/SHIRLEY – The Ayer Shirley Regional School District recently announced this year’s recipients of the John & Abigail Adams scholarship, based on 10th grade MCAS results.

The students – more than 30 in all – were notified that they’d made the grade earlier this year and their achievement was recognized at a breakfast held at the high school in their honor.

Eligibility criteria include attaining scores in the top 10 percent of all students in the district who took the 10th grade state assessment test.

About the scholarships:

As part of its “assistance for student success program,” the Board of Higher Education each year awards John and Abigail Adams scholarships to qualifying students in every public school district in the state.

According to program document on the department’s website, the merit-based John & Abigail Adams Scholarship – which provides credit toward tuition for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a state college or university — has three main goals: to reward and inspire student achievement at the high school level, encourage high-performing students to enroll in state schools and to offer financial assistance to families of college bound students.

There is no application process. Students who are eligible for funding are notified in the fall of their senior year, via award letters.

Once eligibility status has been established, there’s a check-list of caveats.

For example, to use the scholarship their MCAS status has provided them access to, the students must verify a few key points. They must be graduates of a public high school in Massachusetts and must subsequently be admitted to an “eligible institution,” such as an in-state community college or public university that meets all applicable points on the same BHE yardstick.

Anyone who has already earned a college degree is not eligible.

Students attending college under the scholarship program must file the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) each year.

Scholarship recipients must be U.S. Citizens or, if they are not, they must be authorized by the federal government to live and work here, temporarily or permanently.

Once enrolled, full time, students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all academic courses to retain their scholarships.

Other requirements and procedures are spelled out in the document.

The program is reviewed annually by the BHE to determine its continued effectiveness and whether any adjustments are needed.

The scholarship is aptly named for John and Abigail Adams, hard-working, high-achieving Massachusetts residents who were among the fledgling nation’s first political families.

A Harvard graduate, John Adams was a revolutionary leader and served as the first U.S. Vice President under President George Washington.

John Adams was the second President of the United States, serving from 1797 to 1801. His wife, Abigail Adams, was known to be her husband’s close adviser. Their son, John Quincy Adams, later became the sixth President of the United States.