BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- Six Broken Arrow High School seniors have been named as National Merit Semifinalists. The academically talented seniors can continue to compete for about 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million.
Hunter Ash, Alexander Cowden, Richard Fitzhugh, Gregory Jones, Catherine Thomas and Erin Westbrook are semifinalists based on their scores in the 2009 Preliminary SAT, according to a release from the Broken Arrow School District.
About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2009 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 one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn sat scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test.
The semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student's essay and information about the Semifinalist's participation and leadership in school and community activities.