MERCER COUNTY AREA – Two local students have been named semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Aaron J. Jackson of Grove City High School and Nathaniel H. Bersett of Wilmington Area High School have been identified by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies, according to a news release issued by the organization.

There are about 16,000 semifinalists across the country being considered for the 67th annual scholarship program, which will award nearly $30 million to 7,500 high school seniors in the spring.

About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to reach the “finalist” category; half of those students will win a scholarship and the title of “Merit Scholar.”

The semifinalists entered the program when they were seniors by taking the 2020 preliminary SAT and National Merit qualifying test. The semifinalists are the highest-scoring entrants from each state.

Students who are named finalists will have worked with a high school official on a detailed scholarship application that includes details about their academic record, community and school involvement, leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards.

The finalists must also be recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm their performance on the qualifying test.

Finalists’ names will be announced in February followed by the winners’ name being released April through July.

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