Fifteen area students qualified as semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship, taking them to the next step in the competition for $32 million in scholarship opportunities.
The local students were named semifinalists based on their scores on the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school students.
About 16,000 semifinalists will vie to be named finalists and compete for about 8,300 different scholarships, which will be offered next spring. There are three types of scholarships.
To advance to finalists, a student must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school career, receive an endorsement and recommendation from a high school official, write an essay and earn a high SAT score.
About 15,000 students are expected to be named finalists in February. National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from that group based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in college studies.
The local semifinalists are:
■ Andrew P. Jaindl, The Rhodora J. Donahue Academy of Ave Maria
■ Alyssa K. Morrow, Barron Collier High School
■ Abigail R. Tirrell, Barron Collier High School
■ Nicole S. Wardeberg, Barron Collier High School
■ Max R. Bressler, Community School of Naples
■ John W. Eynon, Community School of Naples
■ Patrick K. Moran, Community School of Naples
■ Petra Sobotova, Community School of Naples
■ Adriana P. Ganem, Gulf Coast High School
■ Charlotte J. Gerrity, Gulf Coast High School
■ Stephen A. Childs, Naples High School
■ Gabriel K. Corso, Naples High School
■ Lisa J. Kobzina, Naples High School
■ Destiny S. Howell, Palmetto Ridge High School
■ Elizabeth S. Feins, Seacrest Country Day School