3 from county are National Merit semifinalists

National Merit Scholarship Corporation officials have announced the names of approximately 16,000
semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Wood County has three semifinalists: Ethan Brown from Bowling Green High School, Lucas Pease from
Eastwood High School and Sarah Valette from Perrysburg High School.
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for
some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To
be considered for an award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist
level of the competition. Over 90% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and
about half of the finalists 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 (PSAT/NMSQT), which served
as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1%
of U.S. high school seniors, 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
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship
application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in
school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards
received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and
recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the
student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level,
and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be
selected from this group of finalists.