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Seven Richland One Students Named Semifinalists for 2023 National Merit Scholarships

Seven Richland One students have been named semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program which recognizes academically talented high school seniors across the country.

Over 16,000 semifinalists will compete for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million. The scholarships will be offered in the spring.

Richland One’s National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are: Dreher High School students Philip Sophocleous, Jacob Merrill, Bryce Outten, William (Will) Varner and Audrey White; and A.C. Flora High School students Judith Shaver and Lily Lawther.

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 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.

To qualify as finalists, semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application which includes their academic record, evidenced participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards. They also must have an exemplary high school academic record, be endorsed by a high school official, write an essay and earn an SAT or ACT score that confirms the student’s academic performance.

About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

 

dreher national merit

Dreher High School’s National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are (from left) Philip Sophocleous, Jacob Merrill, Bryce Outten, William (Will) Varner and Audrey White.

 A.C. Flora National Scholars

A.C. Flora High School’s National Merit Scholarship semifinalists are (from left) Judith Shaver and Lily Lawther.