National Merit semifinalists named

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A total of seven seniors from McIntosh and Starr’s Mill High schools are among the approximately 16,000 nationwide selected as semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The 2016 semifinalists are (McIntosh High) Lotanna Erinne, Owen Miller, Amelia Traylor, Joshua Tresbuchon, and Laura Wu; and (Starr’s Mill High) Richard Macke. They are among the highest scorers in the state on the 2014 Preliminary SAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Their scores also place them in the top one percent of highest scoring U.S. high school seniors.

These students have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarship awards worth about $32 million that will be offered next spring. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying test performance. The semifinalist and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Merit scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced April-July.