More than 100 Beaufort County eighth-graders have been named Junior Scholars by the S.C. Department of Education.
That's a dramatic increase from four years ago, school officials say, when 88 students met the qualifications. This year, there are 135 scholars.
To be named a Junior Scholar, students must score a 50 or higher on the verbal, math or writing sections of the preliminary SAT. Students who participated in Duke University's Talent Identification Program during their seventh-grade year are also Junior Scholars.
The scholar program was developed by the state Education Department to identify and recognize eighth-graders for high scholastic achievement and intellectual ability, according to a Beaufort County school district news release.
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Junior Scholars receive an award from the state department and are given information about summer academic experiences at South Carolina colleges and universities, according to the release.
The 135 students also will be honored this spring at the annual Junior Scholars Banquet sponsored by the school district.
"We're tremendously proud of these students," Superintendent Valerie Truesdale said in the release. "This recognition by the state of South Carolina is an early indicator of the many academic successes that they will experience in high school and college. Their parents and teachers also deserve credit and thanks for the support and guidance they provide to these outstanding students."