SOMERS, N.Y. - Six Somers High School seniors have been recognized as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Michelle Croen, Emma MacNeil, Nathan Reynolds, Adriana Szpynda, Emily Szpynda and Mark Worsley are among the 16,000 high school seniors to reach the semifinals of the 62nd annual program. These six seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1955. Scholarships are underwritten by the organization with its own funds and by about 420 business organizations and higher-education institutions.

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All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.

Eight more Somers students were named Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Program: Jackson Bambach, Emilia Budzikowski, Kathryn Campbell, Rocco D’Ascanio, Hannah Norowitz, Zachary Raffo, Lily Rezai and Kathryn Stone.

They are among the 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation who are being recognized for their academic achievements. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than l.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition.