Eight Mid-Columbia high school students are just two steps away from being named National Merit Scholars.
The students are among the 16,000 semifinalists around the country being considered for the award.
Regional semifinalists are:
w John M. Wheatley of Chiawana High School.
w Elisa Apra, Hinako Kawabe, Elisabeth A. Melton and Joel Staudinger, of Hanford High School.
w Peyton J. Sperl of Prosser High School.
w Annie Lai and Alaina S. Wangsgaard of Richland High School.
About $33 million in scholarships will be distributed in the spring to 7,600 students who make it through the rest of the selection process. Winners will be selected based on skills, accomplishments and potential for success.