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DARLINGTON, S.C. – Three students in Darlington County School District earned prestigious recognition this week as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Thomas Hopwood and Jacob Kiker from Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology (MHS) and Marcus Sostak from Hartsville High School (HHS) were selected. These three outstanding students join more than 16,000 from around the country in vying for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million.

In order to be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.