Five PHS students named National Merit semifinalists

Ravenswood High sees two students selected

PARKERSBURG — Five Parkersburg High School students are among thousands of students nationally named this week as 2018 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation on Wednesday announced the names of about 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

Locally, Anna Fatta, Nia Fernandes, Andrew Gnegy, Murad Hamirani and Ethan Weaver of Parkersburg High School were named as semifinalists. Two Ravenswood High School students — Michael I. Morgan and Elias J. Weekley Cope — also were selected.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To be considered for a 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, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.