Morgan J. Rea, of Denham Springs High School, was named one of 16,000 semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation said Sept. 11 in a news release.

The approximately 16,000 semifinalists who will compete for about 7,600 national merit scholarships worth about $33 million were announced Sept. 11.

About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 national merit scholarship program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/national merit scholarship qualifying test.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Three types of national merit scholarships will be offered in spring 2015. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 national merit $2,500 scholarships awarded on a state-representational basis. Another 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships will be awarded. In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance 4,100 college-sponsored merit scholarship awards.

Scholarship winners will be announced between April and July.