William Heffernan and Brandon Zheng, of Wilton High School’s 2017 class, were among 900 additional National Merit Scholarships winners announced July 17 to receive college-sponsored Merit Scholarships.

The final group of winners brings the number of 2017 National Merit Scholars to more than 7,500, which is less than one-half of one percent of students eligible to compete for the scholarships.

William and Brandon join the more than 3,200 other college-sponsored award recipients announced in June, which included fellow Wilton resident Nicholas Johnson.

Merit scholars are selected based on academic and test performance, endorsements and recommendations by high school officials, extracurricular activities, awards and leadership.

Recipients of college-sponsored scholarships like William and Brandon are selected by officials of National Merit Scholarship sponsor colleges that they plan to attend.

College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

William plans to pursue a career in statistics and received a Merit scholarship from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

Brandon plans to pursue a career in economics and received a Merit scholarship from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

To learn more about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit nationalmerit.org.