Westerville News & Public Opinion

South grad gets word of U. Cincinnati Merit Scholarship

Award will pay full four-year cost of attending


A Westerville South High School 2014 graduate has received a National Merit College-Sponsored scholarship from the University of Cincinnati.

Grant Augenstein, who walked in South's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 24, was awarded a full-ride scholarship -- worth about $68,000 over four years.

Augenstein said he was shocked when he heard he won.

"Honestly, I thought just 'Wow' when I saw (the email)," he said.

The College-Sponsored merit scholarship is awarded to 4,500 students. The awards vary between $500 and $2,000 annually and are awarded for up to four years of undergraduate study. This year, 190 institutions in 44 states and the District of Columbia awarded scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Finalists are selected based upon a written essay, extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions, a high-achieving academic record, a recommendation from a high school official and SAT scores.

"I remember going into a building and taking a test and no one made a big deal about it," he said. "Just thinking back to the test, it's really out of this world."

Augenstein, the son of John and Holly Augenstein, was a varsity tennis player at South and an active volunteer for the American Red Cross.

He plans to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. He decided that field was a good fit for him because he wants to use science and math to help people.

"For a while I was interested in medicine but realized it wasn't what I really wanted to do," Augenstein said. "(Biomedical engineering) just stood out to me and I looked into it further and really decided what I wanted to do."

For Augenstein, winning this scholarship wrapped up his high school experience with a good ending.

"I know it's cliche, but it's been a journey. It had its ups and downs and ended on a positive note," he said. "I couldn't imagine this would come out of it."

Four other 2014 graduates from Westerville also received National Merit scholarships this year.

South's McKenna Davis and Westerville Central's Meghan Wilson each won $2,500 Merit Scholarship Corporation-Sponsored scholarships.

Two Westerville graduates who attended private schools -- Claire Alexander from St. Francis DeSales and Ryan Meder from St. Charles Preparatory School -- received Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships.

Alexander received a $1,000, four-year stipend from Battelle Memorial Institute and Meder received a $2,500 award from Fifth Third Bank.