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Two Waimea students named as semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship program

Two students, Madison M. Inman from Hawaii Preparatory Academy and Lysha Matsunobu of Parker School were named as semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship program.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. About 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and will be notified in February.

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. The semifinalist and their high school 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 scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing 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.

About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the National Merit Scholar title.