MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morristown-Beard School senior Lucas Fagan '17 is in some pretty elite company after being named a finalist in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The pool of nationwide finalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. The group was selected out of 1.6 million students who earned qualifying PSAT scores for achieving the highest scores.

Fagan and the 15,000 other finalists nationwide now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 Merit Scholarship Awards worth $33 million that will be offered in the spring. To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier qualifying test performance.

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At Morristown-Beard School, Fagan played on the varsity tennis team, serves as a peer tutor, and volunteers with The Neighborhood House of Morristown.

This past summer, Fagan was named an AP Scholar with Distinction, and he was also awarded The AP International Diploma, a globally recognized award for students interested in international studies.

During his junior year, Fagan embarked on an unforgettable educational adventure as he spent the year studying in Zaragoza, Spain through the School Year Abroad (SYA) program. "Having a deep understanding of another culture is a really valuable experience," said Fagan. "I came back to the U.S. with a much more worldly perspective."

He will continue his studies at Duke University in the fall, where he hopes to study math, economics, and Spanish.

Scholarship winners will be announced in April.