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OHS Student named Semifinalist in 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program


HILLSBOROUGH—Orange High School senior Lucas Hales has been named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. There are 16,000 Semifinalists in this year’s annual NMSP. Hales is among the nation’s most academically talented high school seniors who now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring.

Hales is the son of Derek and Shannon Hales of Hillsborough, NC. He takes a rigorous high school course load including AP and Dual Enrollment classes. He plays defense on the varsity men’s soccer team, runs the 400- and 800-meter races and relays for the OHS track team, and is active in the OHS Jazz Band, Beta Club, Key Club, Student Government, and Environmental Club.

Lucas spends a lot of his time these days working on his online classes at Durham Tech and OHS and working on his college applications. He plans to apply to UNC-CH, NCSU, Duke, UGA, and other schools.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Scholarships awarded by NMSP are underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.