Tri-Village News

National Merit semifinalists

Grandview's King, McHugh vying for scholarships


Grandview Heights High School seniors Noah King and Patrick McHugh have been named semifinalists for National Merit scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. Sept. 9 announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists for the 59th National Merit Scholarship Program.

The semifinalists, including King and McHugh, will be considered for about 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million. The scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.

High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test -- a test that serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year -- and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.

Semifinalists are selected from the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Corp., about 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Scholarships are underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. with its own funds, and by approximately 440 business organizations and colleges and universities.

King said he "was a little surprised" when he found out he was a semifinalist.

"With only 16,000 or so semifinalists, I was pretty happy when I found out," he said.

His favorite subjects in school include math, chemistry and biology, King said.

"I like math because there are concrete answers to each question," he said. "You know whether or not you have the right answer."

King said he is considering several colleges and expects to major in engineering.

Like King, McHugh also picks math as one of his favorite high school subjects, and for much of the same reason.

"It's not open as much to interpretation as a subject like English," he said. "Your grade is much more objective and not a subjective opinion about an essay you wrote."

McHugh plans to attend Ohio State University and expects he will pick a math or finance-related major.