Washington High School seniors Ryan Hill and Anna Sullentrup are among the approximately 15,000 finalists nationwide in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Hill and Sullentrup were named semifinalists during the fall, two of only 16,000 recipients out of approximately 1.6 million students from more than 22,000 high schools that entered the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, roughly 15,000 students advanced to the finalist level. This represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and their high school had to submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provided information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

“With only 15,000 students across the country being named as a finalist, this is a big deal,” said WHS Principal Dr. Kelle McCallum. “Anna and Ryan are the first finalists from Washington High School since the Class of 2013. We celebrate this tremendous accomplishment with both of these intelligent and outstanding students.”

Hill and Sullentrup have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered in the spring.

About half of the finalists will win a scholarship, either a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship or a merit scholarship sponsored by a college or corporation.

Hill plans to major in chemistry in college at Maryville University next fall. He is the son of Timothy Hill.

Sullentrup will attend the University of Missouri and plans to study pre-med. She is the daughter of Dennis and Heather Sullentrup.

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