WILTON — Eight Wilton High School seniors and one college freshman have been named semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program.

They and their tentative college majors are:

Zachary E. Abud — Biotechnology.

Connor S. Allen — Humanities.

Jack W. Hall — Chemistry.

Nathaniel S. Newcomer — Premedicine.

Sophia Ramirez — Creative Writing.

Adarsh P. Varghese — Neuroscience.

303 Bronwyn N. Walsh — Computer Science.

Nathan G. Wang — None listed.

Austin Xie — Undecided.

Ardash Varghese graduated in June with the Class of 2020, a year early.

The students are among 16,000 semifinalists named this week, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, including the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

These students were among 1.5 million high school juniors who entered the program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test ,which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

To become a finalist, a student and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered next spring:

 2,500 National Merit® $2,500 scholarships awarded on a state-representational basis.

 About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations.

 Approximately 4,100 college-sponsored awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.