Five students from Belmont High School were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists with the chance to compete for the award this spring.
The students are Zoya Kaufmann, Max Ke, Whan Lee, Lisa Xu and Wanlu Zu.
Two students from Belmont Hill School, David Kohler and Colin Spence, were also named semifinalists.
Students qualify to apply for National Merit Scholarships, which are privately funded, by taking the Preliminary SAT as juniors. To become finalists, students must fill out applications and achieve SAT scores that reflect the academic strength shown their earlier PSAT scores.
The National Merit Scholarship Program expects about 90 percent of semifinalists to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will win scholarships, according to a press release.
About 1.5 million juniors nationwide applied for the 2011 scholarship by taking the PSAT in 2009, and 16,000 became semifinalists. About 8,400 scholarships will be available in the spring worth over $36 million, the press release said.