Four local high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and will compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million.

The semifinalists are: Sagar Gulati and Shane M. McVeigh from Fairfield Warde High School, Matthew Dwelle from Fairfield Ludlowe High School and Dylan T. Hawkes from Fairfield Prep.

To be considered for a scholarship, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the students are expected to attain that standing and more than half will earn a scholarship and the Merit Scholar title.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists includes the highest scoring entrants in each state on the 2013 Preliminary National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To become a finalist, the student and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application on their academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

In addition, they must write an essay.