Seven Olentangy Local School District seniors were named among the nation's academic elite this month as semifinalists in the 58th National Merit Scholarship Program.
The local scholars will represent the district in a field of 16,000 semifinalists, with the opportunity to move on to compete for a limited number of $2,500 National Merit Scholarships next spring.
Students qualified for the distinction by earning top scores on the 2012 PSAT test.
Roughly 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to be named finalists. To demonstrate eligibility, students must complete the SAT and continue to excel academically through their senior year.
About half of the students named finalists will be awarded one of about 8,300 National Merit scholarships.
Olentangy's 2013 National Merit semifinalists are:
* Tyler Clarkson and Alexander Humphries of Olentangy High School;
* Sneha Rajendran, Dane Sowers and Robin Steyer of Orange High School; and
* Amy Li and Amanda Similie of Liberty High School.
The semifinalists will find out in March if they have been named National Merit finalists.
In the next few weeks, the program also will release a full list of around 34,000 commended students who fell short of semifinalist status. Those students placed in the nation's top 50,000 high scores on the PSAT.
All seven semifinalists will be recognized for their achievement at a meeting of the Olentangy school board at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at the district's administrative offices, 814 Shanahan Road in Lewis Center.
Last year, 10 Olentangy students were named National Merit semifinalists and nine ultimately became finalists, said district spokeswoman Karen Truett.