Area high school seniors received the news this week that they rank in the very top of their class compared to seniors across the nation.

Officials from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of omore than 16,000 Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program and 58 area students were among those honored – including 23 from Solon High School, the most of any local high school.

National Merit Semifinalist are high school seniors who earned among the highest scores on the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

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.

As a semifinalist, these students now have an opportunity to continue in the competition to earn some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million.

The scholarships will be offered next spring.

However, to be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must also fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship according to the announcement.

The following area students received Semifinalist ranking this year:

Chagrin Falls High School: Michaela Plante and Rose Zabik.

Gilmour Academy: Louka Babic.

Hawken School: Ashwin Balakrishnan, Aidan Berard, Spencer Fisher, Lillian Fu, Zayd Haufe, Harsha Sanaka, Yian Shang, John Shin, Jasmine Shone, Grace Shum, Ryan Si, Nikhil Subhas, Moshi Tang, Timothy Toliver, Owen Tritt, and Eliana Wolf.

Kirtland High School: Robert Whittaker.

Orange High School: Daniel Suh, Lindsey Wang, and Anna Wolf.

Solon High School: Dev Ahuja, Morgan Blackford, Matthew Charney, Wonwoo Choi, Harry Deng, Amy Duan, Aakarsh Garg, Angelene Getz, Eshan Haq, Brian Hong, Erik Li, Zimiao Meng, Alexander Mester, Viresh Mittal, Laura Mo, Hannah Olszewski, Helen Otterman, Vanessa Polster, Manikantha Puram, Prahalad Rao, Vikram Sundaram, Yiqing Tang, and Aria Wei.

University School: Nathaniel Abbott, Steven Kim, Theodore Moll, Braedon Olsen, Oliver Posner, Charles Whitner, Nicholas Wojnar, and Matthew Young.

West Geauga High School: Reilly Lewis, Megan McGinnis, and Morgan Palchick.

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