Principal Mark McDowell is pleased to announce that 13 QND students have been recognized as 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars.

The prestigious award, given annually by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), recognized nearly 19,000 high school students from across the state as this year’s State Scholars.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in the top ten percent of high school seniors from 652 high schools across the state. Selection is based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT scores and class rank at the end of junior year. High school guidance counselors work in conjunction with ISAC to determine the winners.

“This group of students understands and appreciates the value of academic success,” said QND Principal Mark McDowell. “We are proud of our students’ commitment to their studies and know they are prepared for future opportunities beyond QND.”

The 13 QND students include: Owen Alford, Rachael Becker, Adriana Brown, Samuel Dust, Andrew Eaton, Sydni Griswold, Nicholas Haxel, Riley Hummert, Conner Mahsman, Lacey Roberts, Jaden Sangoi, Melanie Schlepphorst and Sawyer Whelan.

“It is always an honor to announce another extraordinary group of State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC executive director. “At a time when postsecondary education could not be more important to future job and career success, these students have demonstrated the kind of effort and dedication that will help them advance not only their futures, but the future of the state as well. We wish each of them the best as they pursue their chosen educational path.”

While this distinguished recognition does not include a monetary prize, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships. In addition, students are urged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1, 2016. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal and state aid.

Originally formed as the Illinois State Scholarship Commission in 1957, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides students of all ages and backgrounds with resources and support to help obtain financial aid for higher education.

The Commission offers free financial aid and college access events to assist students and families with the college-going process. Students can also visit the ISAC website and in particular the new ISAC Student Portal for college planning, financial aid and financial literacy information and free tools, as well as information on how to contact the ISACorps, a group of recent college graduates who act as near-peer mentors, for one-on-one assistance and mentoring.

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