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ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico semifinalists in the not-for-profit National Merit Scholarship program – including three from Farmington schools – were announced last week, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Local semifinalists are Emily H. Nguyen of Farmington High School and Katherine Broten and Corbyn G. Foster of Piedra Vista High School.

"These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring," program officials said in a news release.

More than 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and of that group, about half will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title, they said.

Money for the awards come from the National Merit Scholarship program, and about 410 business organizations and higher education institutions that share goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

The program notes that using the number of qualifiers from a particular school or education system can result in erroneous conclusions.

Approximately 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

The pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.
Those who advance to the finalist level will be notified in February and scholarship winners notified in batches from April through July of next year.

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