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8 Local Students Named Semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program has released the names of about 16,000 semifinalists from across the nation.

The semifinalists have the opportunity to continue in the National Merit Scholarships competition, the results of which will be announced in the spring.

First, the semifinalists must complete several requirements in order to advance to the finalist level of competition.

Congratulations go out to the Santa Barbara Unified School District's semifinalists:

Santa Barbara High School

Harry Parker

Dos Pueblos High School

Vincent Chen
Channing Fisher
Will Frederiksen
Charles Green
Kyle Kovacs
William Pan
Sophia Russo

The semifinalists are currently seniors who, last year, were among the 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools who took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The semifinalists were selected from that pool of juniors who took the test.

There are several steps toward becoming a finalist, including the requirement that the high semifinalist and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application with information about the semifinalist's academic record, involvement in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

In February, about 15,000 students — from a field of approximately 16,000 semifinalists — are expected to advance to the finalist level.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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