2 Alexandria seniors are semifinalists in 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program

Alexandria semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Evan Leleux (left), Spencer Stelly (right).

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Wednesday National Merit Scholarship Corporation Officials announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSC).

Two Alexandria students made the cut this year: Alexandria Senior High School senior Evan LeLeux and Holy Savior Menard Senior Spencer Stelly.

Both students tested to qualify during their junior year.
They have the opportunity to continue in the competition for around 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million, according to NMSC.

The corporation said over 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing. About half of them will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

They said the nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Now, students who want to go all the way will have to submit a detailed application. They must have an outstanding academic record, have recommendations, write an essay and earn high SAT/ACT scores.

The Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts also has eight students qualify:

Karen Baker
Andre, Bourque,
Natalie, Cambre
Steely Forrester
Mila Griffith
Beatrice Hoang
Drake Pelletier
Zoe Roques

Scholarship recipients will be announced beginning in April 2020.

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