Aiken County students named semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

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Oct. 4—Several Aiken County students were listed as semifinalist in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.

These "academically talented" high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring, according to the National Merit Scholarship Program.

These students represent less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors including the highest scoring entrants from each state.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, about 95% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and half of the finalist will win the National Merit Scholarship.

The semifinalists in Aiken County are Laura Huff from Aiken High School, Madison Ackroyd from Aiken Scholars Academy, Ronald Rahenkamp from South Aiken High School, and Jeffrey Moody from North Augusta High School.

If these students become finalists, they will be competing for one of the National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. If not selected, there are about 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit scholarships awards for which they would be considered.

A semifinalist must have had an "outstanding" academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirmed the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test.

"To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official 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," according to the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced nationwide starting in April and concluding in July.

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