Hamilton High School graduating seniors John Ryter and Alyssa Heath are finalists in the National Merit Scholars program this year.

Ryter and Heath had high scores in last year's PSAT test, which made them semifinalists. High scores on the SAT test and good skills, recommendations and competitive essays took them into the finalist category.

A National Merit Scholar designation helps in college applications and resumes, according to Hamilton school officials. Heath wants to study biology and medicine and Ryter is interested in Mechanical Engineering.

The two students have also been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Over 3,000 candidates have been selected, from which two (a boy and a girl) will be selected from each state, along with 15 at-large students and 20 students from creative and performing arts.

The Presidential Scholars will be announced in May and will be invited to Washington, D.C. in June for a recognition ceremony and other activities. John is the son of Dr and Mrs Kendal Ryter and Alyssa is the daughter of Dr and Mrs Brett Heath.