Local students named as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Six Grand Forks public school students have been named 2020 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, the school district has announced.

Grand Forks Central High School seniors Oliver Dalmi, Daniel Hettich and Mikayla Weiss and Red River High School seniors Aiden Krogh, Alexander Tjellesen and Joseph Votava are among about 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th annual national scholarship program.

About 1.5 million students in 21,000 high schools entered the program, as juniors in high school, by completing the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to a news release from Grand Forks Public Schools.

The number of semifinalists in each state are proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

About 15,000 of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and will be notified in February of the designation. Scholarship winners are selected from the group of finalists, and about 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million will be announced next spring.


National Merit Scholars are selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The mission of the organization, established in 1955, is to recognize and honor academically talented students throughout the country.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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