Names of 1,500 semifinalists in the 17th annual National Achievement Scholarship Program for Outstanding Negro Students, an annual competition for college undergraduate scholarships, have been announced by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

More than 70,000 black students enrolled in about 7,000 U.S. secondary schools entered the scholarship competition as high school juniors.

Semifinalists are the highest scorers among black students who took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/-National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in 1979 and requested consideration in advance placement.

Semifinalists were selected on a regional allocation basis, in numbers proportional to the black population of the states assigned to each region. The most outstanding of the semifinalists will compete for about $2 million in college scholarships to be awarded next spring.

Suburban Maryland semifinalists are as follows:

Arnold -- Monica R. Smith, Wroxeter on Severn.

Bethesda -- Renee N. Brooks, Bethesda-Chevy High.

Columbia -- Charles H. Harris, Atholton High; Tracey L. Clark and Karen M. Hardwick, Oakland Mills High; Shelly A. Haith, Wilde Lake High.

Glenelg -- Dolores A. Moran, Glenelg High.

Greenbelt -- Robert A. Davis, Patricia A. Parker, Lenora Roberts and Grover L. Wright, Eleanor Roosevelt Senior High.

Hyattsville -- Walter E. Morgan, Dematha Catholic.

Lanham -- Ayn U. Fuller, Duval Senior High.

Oxon Hill -- William G. Isom, Oxon Hill Senior High and Delores J. Dobson, Potomac High.

Rockville -- Elaine L. Barbour, Col. Z. Magruder High.

Silver Spring -- Rose M. Eiland, John F. Kennedy High; Avery G. Jackson, Northwood High; Mark K. Davis, Springbrook Senior High.

Takoma Park -- Ralph B. Robinson, Montgomery Blair High; Robert T. Maupin, Takoma Academy.

Wheaton -- Nannette W. Isler and Vincent D. Rougeau, Wheaton High.