Madeleine Schuld, a senior at Brainerd High School, is among about 16,000 semifinalists for the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Students chosen have the opportunity to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million next spring.
To advance to the next level, semifinalists and their schools must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the students' academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment and other honors received. Semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores confirming their high academic performance.
About 15,000 semifinalists are expected to advance to finalist level, with about half receiving scholarships.