Four students named scholarship semifinalists

From staff reports

PARKERSBURG — Four area students have been named semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation on Wednesday announced 16,000 semifinalists. These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31million that will be offered next spring.

Locally, the semifinalists were Aidan Roberts of Parkersburg Catholic High School, Isaac Hardy of Parkersburg High School, Jared Ream, homeschooled, of Vienna and Joshua Rice of Magnolia High School.

More than 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Program by taking the 2018 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 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.