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Three receive national honor

By Staff | Oct 7, 2009

Lakota Morris, Chelsea Wells and Christine Keplinger were counted among 16,000 high school students who will compete for 8,200 scholarships this year.

Three local students have been named as semifinalists in this year’s National Merit Scholarship Program.

The annual national scholarship competition, now in its 55th year, this week announced 16,000 semifinalists who will compete for 8,200 scholarships.

More than 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools entered the 2009 National Merit Program by taking the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

The area semifinalists are: Christine Keplinger, Lakota Morris and Chelsea Wells of Tyler Consolidated High School.

To be considered for a merit scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.