Five Poway High School students were recently named 2020 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation: Katherine Downs, Nicholas Middelberg, Diego Rios Brady, Joseph Salamy, and Christine Wakayama.

Approximately 16,000 students were selected as semifinalists from a pool of over 1.5 million entrants from 21,000 high schools across the country based on their scores on the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Over 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level, where they will be in the running for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million. Final selection is based on students’ skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in college programs.

Finalists will be notified in February, and winners will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. The 2020 recipients will join more than 345,000 other distinguished students who have earned the Merit Scholar title in the past 65 years. Learn more at