Eight students from Columbus Academy have been named semifinalists in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship program.

Eight students from Columbus Academy have been named semifinalists in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship program.

Steven Armstrong (Reynoldsburg), Lauren Falkenberg (Westerville), Krupa Harishankar (Blacklick), Skyler Jordan (Gahanna), Garrett May (Westerville), Benjamin Mozenter (Gahanna), Aatifa Shareef (Gahanna) and Audrey Young (Blacklick) are now eligible for 8,200 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $35 million.

Students qualified for semifinalist status by scoring in the top 1 percent nationally on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to finalist level of the competition.

About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Three types of National Merit Scholarship awards will be offered in spring 2009. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarship awarded on a state basis. Some 300 corporations and business organizations will provide about 1,100 corporate-sponsored scholarships. About 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,600 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.