Grand County High School principal Steve Hren gives National Merit Scholar finalist certificates to Mary Rice.

Grand County High School seniors Maren Larsen and Mary Rice were recently named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit Scholar semifinalists are selected based upon SAT scores. Of the 1.5 million students in the country that take the SAT, only 50,000 qualify for recognition from the National Merit Scholar Program, which is approximately the top three percent of students.

In order to be a semi-finalist in Utah, students must score above 205 out of a 240 on the SAT. These students are considered to be in the top 1 percent of students in the country.

When they gain semifinalist status, students must fill out an application that lists to be considered for finalist status.

“We have had about two finalists since I have been principal, but this is the first time we have had two in the same year,” said Grand County High School principal Steve Hren.

There are about 15,000 finalists nation-wide. Various scholarship opportunities are available to finalists and some of the finalists will gain National Merit Scholarships in the end.