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2 BHS seniors named National Merit semifinalists

BEMIDJI – Two Bemidji High School seniors have been named as semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Erik Dreyer and Levi Heath were among about 1.5 million juniors who entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

That test served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. It includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

There are about 16,000 semifinalists and about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level in February.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.