PARKLAND, FL- Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Anna Bayuk, Kam Y. Cheung, Katherine E. Hebert, Maxwell H. Kilman, Amanda A. Manausa, Talia Rumsky, Andromeda A. Smith and Karen S. Villancio-Wolter were among 36 students from Broward County Public Schools that were named Semifinalists in the 65th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

These academically talented students are high school seniors among approximately 16,000 students who will have an opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million. To qualify for this acheivement, students took the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The semifinalists represent the highest-scoring test-takers in each state and represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. 

Typically, about 95% of students who are National Merit Semifinalists go on to become Finalists, thus making the Semifinalist list the most significant indicator of Finalist success. Only Finalists receive official NMSC scholarships, according to the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

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Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring and summer of 2020. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state level. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specific criteria. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities will finance 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution according to Broward County Public Schools. 

Stoneman Douglas Principal Michelle Kefford is very pleased with the students' success. "We are extremely proud of our 8 Eagles that earned the distinction of being named National Merit semi-finalists," said Kefford. "These students are extremely bright and talented and are very deserving of this incredible recognition."