A trio of students from Southeast advanced to become semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, according to a Wednesday release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Max Lyons a student at Juneau-Douglas High School, was announced as a semifinalist. Richard Bekeris and Samuel Woolsey, Sitka High School students, also were named. Including the Juneau and Sitka students, 34 Alaskans were named as semifinalists.
Those three will join approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the race for about 8,300 slots as a National Merit Scholar. To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, with National Merit Scholars announced in the spring and summer of 2012.
About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.