The National Merit Scholarship Program announced on Tuesday that 283 students from Minnesota have been named semifinalists for 2019. Of the 283 named in Minnesota 9 come from our area!

The Minnesota seniors are among the 16,000 semifinalists named as part of the annual academic competition. The students, who get selected based on scores on a PSAT qualifying test, will compete for some 7,500 scholarships worth more than $31 million, to be awarded this spring.

More than 1.6 million juniors from about 22,000 high schools entered the competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The remaining seniors, most of whom will advance to finalist status, must submit a scholarship application that includes an outstanding academic record, a recommendation from their schools, an essay, and an SAT score that confirm the results of the PSAT.

In addition to scholarships awarded by the non-profit National Merit organization, about 1,000 corporate-sponsored awards and an additional 4,000 college-sponsored awards will be chosen, according to the group. Some colleges award full-tuition (or more) scholarships to National Merit Semifinalists or National Merit Finalists.

The semifinalists from our area are:

Cannon Falls High School - Graham Pearson
Lakeville North High School - Anna Carow & Anna Puhek
Lakeville South High School - Hayden Epinette & Maxwell Schobel
Northfield High School - Halvor Bratland, Madelyn Hessian, & Elias Lawler
Owatonna High School - Jacob Preifer

Congratulations and good luck!

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