Nine local students have been selected as semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Seven of the students attend Oxford High School, one attends Lafayette High School and one attends Regents School of Oxford.
OHS seniors selected are Andrew Atchley, Fikir Beyene, Walker Dabbs, Mina Kang, Keerthin Karthikeyan, Charlie Ligon, and Aidan Sullivan.
Lafayette High School’s Sloane Clark was among the students selected.
Regents’ semifinalist is Sydney Fuller.
Semifinalists are selected based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in their junior year. Semifinalist status is awarded to the students from each state who scored the highest on the exam and is proportional to the state’s percentage total of graduating seniors.
The seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth about $28 million that will be offered next spring. Nationwide, about 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win National Merit Scholarships, earning the Merit Scholar title.
To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.
A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.