Big brains, big awards: Which high school students won $2,500 National Merit scholarships?

All that studying really did pay off: Nine students at Lexington schools have earned National Merit Scholarship honors, and it comes with a $2,500 prize.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. made the announcement early Wednesday.

The $2,500 scholars were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists.

National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

The winner at a private Lexington school, Sayre School, was Arushi Bansal.

The Lexington winners from Fayette County Public Schools include:

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Vibha B. Bhaskar; Shreya Chandrashekar; Kiran S. Koul; Laura Tong; and Joseph A. Vulakh

Henry Clay High School

William J. Brown; Clinton I. Corkran; and Layth K. Rahman