Senior Connor Kain of Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia has reached the semifinalist round of the National Merit Scholar competition.

Kain, a Gloucester City, N.J. native, has maintained a grade point average between 3.5 and 4.0 during his tenure at Roman Catholic and is currently ranked 54th in a class of 247 students.

Across the nation, 16,000 semifinalists have been chosen in the National Merit competition’s 59th year. In the spring, 90 percent of these semifinalists will be considered for the final around. Approximately half of those considered will win National Merit Scholarships totaling nearly $35 million.

Since its founding in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corp. has recognized 2.9 million students and provided over 377,000 scholarships worth about $1.5 billion.

The not-for-profit organization operates without government assistance. Its aims are to honor academically talented U.S. high school students, stimulate increased support for their education and provide efficient and effective scholarship program management for organizations that wish to sponsor college undergraduate scholarships.

Roman Catholic High School, a high school of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia founded in 1890 by Thomas E. Cahill, provides young men from diverse social, economic and geographic backgrounds an education of academic and cultural excellence in a scholarly and nurturing environment. The challenging academic curriculum, competitive athletics program, and engaging activities complement each other to foster courage, character, and leadership.