Three Columbus City Schools seniors have qualified as semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Glory O. Aliu and James B. Bollas, seniors at Columbus Alternative High School, and Jamie Bossenbroek, a senior at Whetstone High School, are among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists chosen.

Semifinalists are the highest scorers on the Preliminary SAT in their state and represent less than 1 percent of high school seniors.

Semifinalists have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring, according to an announcement from the not-for-profit corporation based in Evanston, Illinois. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

"Glory Aliu and James Bollas exemplify the CAHS motto: the school where academic excellence is our standard and not the exception," Principal Darryl Sanders said in an announcement from the district. "Our CAHS administration and faculty are extremely proud of these outstanding young people."

Aliu is a full International Baccalaureate Diploma student planning to major in biochemistry. Bollas is a College Credit Plus student at Ohio State University. He plans to further his studies in aerospace engineering.

"The Whetstone staff and community are extremely proud of Jamie's superior accomplishments," Principal Janet Routzong said in an announcement. "Her dedication to academics, as well as music and athletics, speaks volumes to the many successes she will experience for years to come."

Bossenbroek is taking accelerated calculus at Ohio State University and is the treasurer for Whetstone's National Honor Society as well as the marching band president. She is applying to OSU, in addition to other universities, and plans to major in engineering.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 330,000 other young people who have earned the merit scholar title.