A dozen of Lawrence's high school seniors have been named among the most elite group of high school scholars in the country.
Six seniors from Lawrence High School, five from Free State High School and one from Bishop Seabury Academy have been selected as National Merit Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
The LHS students are Rebecca Dirks, Anthony Frei, Samuel Huneke, Katherine Mather, Jeffrey Standing and Baoqing Zhou.
The Free State students picked for the honor are Jennifer Brooks, Benjamin Greenberg, Jing Li, Heidi Tenpas and Penelope Tsatsoulis.
The Bishop Seabury senior is Laura Gauch.
The students are among less than 1 percent of the country's high school seniors.
More than 1.3 million students entered the Merit Program when they were juniors by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
The approximately 16,000 semifinalists will now compete for Merit Scholarship Awards worth more than $30 million that will be announced next spring.
To become finalists, students must show an outstanding high school academic record, be endorsed and recommended by their principal and submit SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance.
The semifinalists now complete a detailed scholarship application, including an essay and information about the student's participation and leadership in school and community activities.
About 90 percent of the semifinalists meet the high standards to become finalists and more than half of the finalists earn Merit Scholarships that are announced between April and July of 2007.