NICEVILLE — Four Collegiate High School students at Northwest Florida State College have been named National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists.

Thomas Anchor of Crestview, Ryen Goebel of Destin, Jonathan Ingram of Fort Walton Beach, and Nicholas Zimmerman of Niceville are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists — representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors — in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Semifinalists were identified based on their scores on the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“These students are among an elite group of students nationwide who have attained this well-deserved recognition of their extraordinary academic accomplishments,” Collegiate High School Principal Anthony Boyer said. “It is such an honor to have these students be a part of Collegiate High School, and we are so proud of them.”

In addition to completing high school graduation and associate of arts degree requirements before they move on from Northwest Florida State College next spring, the four students are working toward solidifying their future education plans. Anchor and Ingram intend to study computer science, Zimmerman plans to pursue a degree in engineering, and Goebel is considering a double major in some combination of architecture, engineering or biological engineering.

The four also will continue the process toward becoming National Merit Scholarship Program finalists, which involves submitting a detailed application with information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, and honors and awards.

They also must write an essay and earn an SAT score that confirms their earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Finalists will be announced in February; 2016 National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from the pool of finalists starting in April.