A handful of students in Hardin County have become National Merit semi-finalists.

This includes five Central Hardin High School students — Samuel Christensen, Tate Lewis, Sammy McDowell, Nathan Turlington and Brenden White. Turlington and White are enrolled in the Gatton Academy at Western Kentucky University.

Briana Lewis and Jonah Shirts are Elizabethtown High School students who were also named National Merit semi-finalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships.

Beginning in 1955, approximately 1.5 million high school students enter the program each year. 16,000 high school students nationwide earn National Merit Semi-Finalist status and are the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

High School students who meet published program entry and participation requirements enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during high school, usually as juniors.

Each year’s PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test designated for entry to a particular year’s competition. For example, the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2022.

Students should learn if they earned National Merit Finalist status in February 2022.

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