New Albany High School has eight seniors who have been named semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students are Karen Ji, 16; Grace Mancini, 17; Jack Meslow, 17; Rohith Paidikondala, Shraddha Pingali, 17; Meghana Ravi, 17; Emma Waite 17; and Joshua Williams, 18.

Superintendent Michael Sawyers said the students' designation as semifinalists illustrates their efforts in and out of the classroom has paid off.

"We're very proud of everything that they've achieved," he said.

Ji, who is interested in studying biology or biomedical engineering, said she is looking at schools with strong programs in those disciplines and plans to attend medical school.

Mancini said she is applying to the University of Chicago, Tufts University, Brandeis University and Boston College because she loved their campuses. She said she also likes Case Western Reserve University and Miami University.

Meslow said he is considering several schools on the east coast and in Ohio.

Paidikondala said he is considering Ohio State University and Purdue University.

Ravi said she is looking at Ohio State, the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College.

Pingali said she is looking at schools in southern California and near Boston because they have strong programs in environmental policy and marine biology.

Waite said she doesn't know where she will attend college, but she is interested in a career in pediatric medicine.

Williams is considering Case Western, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Duke University and Kenyon College.

The eight seniors are part of a semifinalist group of 16,000 students who qualified based on scores from the Preliminary SAT or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Tests taken during their junior years in high school, according to the National Merit website.

About 15,000 are expected to be named finalists in February, and half of the finalists will be awarded scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corp., corporate sponsors, colleges and universities.

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