Runnels School national merit semifinalists Caleb Manning and Connor Matthews have advanced to finalist standing in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program competition.

As national merit finalists, these students remain in the running to compete for approximately 7,600 national merit scholarships valued at nearly $33 million to be awarded in the spring, a news release from the school said.

To become a finalist, semifinalists must maintain an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their high school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Merit scholars are selected on the basis of their accomplishments, skills and potential for success in college studies, the release said. Scholarship awards to finalists will be made beginning in March.

Manning, a Runnels student since preschool, is the son of Kristen and Don Manning, and Matthews, the son of Karen and Kenneth Matthews, has attended Runnels since first grade.