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National Merit Semifinalists

Two McCracken County High School students have earned the distinguished title of National Merit Semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship program. 

The National Merit Semifinalists are Owen Cody and Garret Greenwell. 

Semifinalists are selected based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in their junior year. Semifinalist status is awarded to the students from each state who scored the highest on the exam—less than 1 percent of US high school seniors. 

The two McCracken seniors can continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth about $28 million that will be offered next spring. Nationwide, about 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist status, and about half of the finalists will win National Merit Scholarships, earning the Merit Scholar title.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist 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 or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.