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Degerness semifinalist in National Merit Scholarship Program

West Fargo High School senior Walker Degerness has been named one of roughly 16,000 semifinalists in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Degerness continues in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation's competition for one of 8,300 National Merit scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to qualify for the finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Last year, Degerness was one of nearly 1.5 million high school juniors to take the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test. The number of semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and the number of semifinalists in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Requirements of semifinalists include an outstanding academic record throughout high school, an endorsement and recommendation by a high school official and an essay.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

To become a finalist, semifinalists must submit a scholarship application which provides information about the semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, and honors and awards received.

Those who qualify for the finalist standing will be notified in February.