38 county students named National Merit semifinalists


Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.

Thirty-eight Alachua County students were among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists announced Wednesday in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The high school seniors will be considered for about 8,000 National Merit Scholarships totaling about $35 million, to be awarded in the spring.

They are: Stephen Y. Dolbier, Andrew R. Fang, Kevin Z. Huang, David T. Hurst, Hyun J. Rhee, Stephen M. So, Robin Z. Xu and Vivian Zhu, from Buchholz High; Apara Agarwal, Grant M. Berg, Can Cao, Prescott A. Cowles, Victoria B. Deal, Evon M. Debose-Scarlett, Abigail L. Eisenstadt, Alicia L. Fan, Samuel A. Hagen, Alexis H. Hanlon, Xingchen Li, Emma J. Nolan, Wesley C. Olmsted, Hope Pan, Christine A. Pu, Alexandra A. Sourakov, Alvaro W. Valle, Yuxin Zhang and Wenli Zhao, from Eastside High; Christopher Berry, Daniel R. Carvalho, Connor H. Davis, Sadie F. Depeter, Dayna L. Duffy, Stephanie H. Hargrave and Martina A. Knechel, from Gainesville High; Kaitlyn N. Morse and Bob L. Zhou, from Oak Hall School; Hannah R. Glynn, from St. Francis Catholic High School; and Michael S. Helvey, a homeschool student from Newberry.

The initial screen for the National Merit Scholarship Program is the Preliminary SAT, taken by about 1.5 million high school juniors across the country ahead of the 2014 program.

Semifinalists make up about 1 percent of high school seniors in the United States. The group includes the highest scorers in each state.

The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of total graduating seniors in the country this year.

Semifinalists now can submit scholarship applications to become finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four groups between April and July.

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