The National Merit Scholarship Program announced this week that 303 students from Minnesota have been named semifinalists for 2016.

The Minnesota seniors are among about 16,000 semifinalists named as part of the annual academic competition. The students, who were selected based on scores on a PSAT qualifying test, will compete for more than 7,000 scholarships worth more than $32 million, to be awarded this spring.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. These seniors, most of whom will advance to finalist status, must submit a scholarship application that includes an outstanding academic record, a recommendation from schools, an essay, and SAT scores than confirm the results of the earlier test.

In addition to scholarships awarded by the non-profit National Merit organization, about 1,000 corporate-sponsored awards and an additional 3,900 college-sponsored awards will be chosen, according to the group.

National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced between April and July of 2016.

See the complete Minnesota list, organized by city and high school.

STAR TRIBUNE STAFF

Minnesota National Merit Semifinalists for 2016