The semifinalists have been announced for this year’s National Merit Scholarship Program, and the list includes several students from Polk County Public Schools. Congratulations to: – Kim-Tien Vo from Harrison School for the Arts – Zyad Elmasri, Satvik Gunjala, Sun Latt, Tzak Lau, Om Patel, Sachin Sivakumar and Ethan Cross Zulueta; all from International Baccalaureate at Bartow High There are approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide for this year’s National Merit program. These “academically talented” high school seniors will have a chance to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million. The national pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. Ultimately, National Merit Scholarship winners are chosen for their outstanding academic records and “potential for success in rigorous college studies.” Students selected as finalists will be notified in February, and the scholarship winners will be announced in groups beginning in April and concluding in July.