August 02, 2004

Alex Piolatto wins presidential scholarship

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Alex Piolatto, a graduate of Manteno High School, is the recipient of a presidential scholarship from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The award provides tuition, fees, and room and board for four years. For the upcoming school year, that's a total of $11,540 for Piolatto, son of David Piolatto and Laura Piolatto of Manteno.

Piolatto is one of 19 incoming freshmen who make up the third group of presidential scholars. SIU President James E. Walker created the Presidential Scholars Program three years ago, saying it "rewards Illinois high school students who have worked hard in the classroom and who have been actively involved in their school and community."

Minimum eligibility requirements are an ACT (American College Test) composite score of 29, a 3.75 grade point average on a 4.0 (perfect) scale, leadership qualities and Illinois residency.

This year's scholars recorded an average ACT score of 32.89; 36 is the maximum score. All the recipients ranked in the top 2 percent of their high school graduating class.

Piolatto's honors include being named an Illinois State Scholar. His activities include serving on the WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering) team and the math team, being a member of the wind ensemble and soccer.

He plans to major in English.