ELKHORN

Two local high school students are semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Sean Ahler and Alejandro Huerta, both students at Elkhorn Area High School, are among 16,000 semifinalists competing for 7,600 scholarships worth more than $31 million, according to a news release from the National Merit Scholarship Program Corp.

Semifinalists were chosen based on their scores on the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the release.

To become one of about 15,000 finalists, students must submit written essays, endorsements from a high school official and their ACT or SAT scores along with their academic records. Finalists are chosen based on their academics, leadership ability, honors and awards received, and their participation in school and community activities, according to the release.

Finalists will be notified in February.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a nonprofit that operates without government assistance. Funds are provided by about 400 business organizations and higher-education institutions.

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