PELHAM, N.Y. -- Benjamin Hurd and Jonathan Salama, both seniors at Pelham Memorial High School, have qualified as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
"This distinction places Hurd and Salama among the top students in the nation," the Pelham School District noted in a Wednesday Facebook post. "Great work guys!"
More than 1.5 million high school students enter the competition by taking the PSAT in their junior year, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Less than 1 percent of all graduating seniors qualify as semifinalists.
Around 90 percent of the 16,000 semifinalists will become finalists, and they will be announced in February 2017. Those are then judged on the basis of "their abilities, skills and accomplishments," and about half will be Merit Scholarship winners.
These will be announced beginning in March 2017.
Winners are eligible for one of three types of scholarships: National Merit Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships or college-sponsored Merit Scholarships.