Five local high school seniors are among 16,000 named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. These students move on to compete for scholarships totaling about $35 million.
Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 $2,500 National Merit Scholarships. About 1,000 additional scholarships are offered by corporate sponsors, and about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance about 4,500 scholarships for finalists who plan to attend the sponsor institution.
About 90 percent of semifinalists move on to become finalists. Merit Scholars are chosen based on skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in college studies.
Local students who have reached the semifinalist stage are Mary F. Lavoie and Michael Ryzhov of DeKalb High School, Ethan P. Witt of Kaneland High School, and Casey C. Bunge and Elizabeth L. Watson of Sycamore High School.