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The annual National Merit Scholarship and National Achievement Scholarship programs announced semifinalists in recent weeks.
Semifinalists for both programs are chosen based on Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying scores, and represent less than one percent of the top U.S. high school seniors.
The achievement scholarship recognizes African-American students, while the merit scholarship is open to all students.
Timothy Petrosius of North Oldham High was named a National Merit semifinalist out of 1.5 million juniors across the country. Petrosius is one of 16,000 semifinalists competing for 8,300 scholarships worth more than $34 million.
Petrosius also plays soccer at NOHS. He is planning to study engineering, possibly at the University of Louisville, Case Western Reserve University or the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Being named a semifinalist meant a lot, he said. "It really opened up the college horizon," he said.
Bilal Jones, of Oldham County High, was named a National Achievement semifinalist out of 160,000 juniors. He is one of 1,600 semifinalists competing for 800 awards worth over $2.4 million.
Jones plays in the concert and marching bands, jazz ensemble and Tri-M national society of student musicians, of which he is the chapter president. This year he is also serving as the attorney general for the Kentucky Youth Assembly mock-government conference.
He plans to study physics or engineering in college, although he hasn't made a decision on where.