The National Merit Scholarship Corp. has announced the names of about 15,000 semifinalists in the competition for approximately 5,000 Merit Scholarships to be awarded in the spring.

More than one million students from approximately 18,000 U.S. secondary schools entered the competition in 1981 by taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Most of the students were high school juniors.

Semifinalists are being honored as the highest scorers in their respective states. Their names are being sent to colleges and universities in the hope of increasing their educational opportunities.

Semifinalists from suburban Maryland schools are:

Beltsville -- High Point Senior High: Lynne M. Warner.

Bethesda -- Bethesda Chevy Chase High: Audrey M. Abraham, James A. DaSilva, Charles F. Goldsmith, Judith E. Kalb, Melissa A. Keith, Linda C. Lowenthal, Ethan L. Miller, Marilee K. Orr, Deborah E. Polk, Abby R. Silver, Brian D. Skinner, Matthew W. Sommer, Dougin A. Walker, George M. Weinberg.

Holton Arms School: Kathryn M. Bowsher, Sarah A. Fishman, Cecily S. Fitzgerald, Claire J. Kim, Alyza D. Lewin, Corinna E. Nichols.

Walter Johnson High School: Rebekah E. Bartlett, Ranjit S. Dighe, Katherine A. Dixon, Harriet C. Hassler, Jennifer B. Nelson.

Landon School: Robert B. Diley, Anthony R. Pisarra.

Walt Whitman High School: Judith S. Bartfeld, Kurt C. Billick, Randy C. Capps, Shari R. Finkelstein, Christine E. Flaherty, John V. Goldsmith, David M. Granik, Steven B. Greene, Harry G. Greenspun, James H. Lide, Daniel A. Margolis, Jeffrey M. Muller, Peter Nelson, Albert C. Park, Ellen E. Perry, Corey S. Powell, Elizabeth J. Rourke, Helen N. Shields, Rachel A. Simpson, Simon D. Stern, Katrien E. Sundt, Lesley A. Wilburn, Thomas E. Williams.

Bowie -- Bowie Senior High: Nicholas A. Lambros.

Burtonsville -- Paint Branch High: Vonda K. Bohrer, Lauren M. Covell, Martha E. Mongan.

Clinton -- Surrattsville Senior High: Helen M. Brown.

Columbia--Atholton High: James J. Benjamin, Pamela M. Courtright, Beatrice Kondo, William A. Nace, Kevin W. Redman, Martin W. Smith, Kenneth L. Stone, Steven H. Wilson.

Hammond High: Jonathan C. Barnett.

Oakland Mills High: Andrew C. Bell, Kathleen P. Swid, Steven M. Tobin.

Wilde Lake High: Kevin M. Cuddeback, Steven G. desJardins, Susan E. desJardins, James E. Hard, David B. Hart, Kyuma B. Lauer, Richard J. Shaker, Edward D. Wang.

Damascus -- Damascus High: Kevin R. Garlow, Matthew A. Goldenberg.

Ellicott City -- Centennial High: Michael G. Dittman, Michael I. Hyman.

Howard High: Cheryl E. Duncan, Joseph R. Matarese.

Mount Hebron High: David M. Razmus, Laura L. Signor.

Forestville -- Bishop McNamara High: Guy F. Nicolucci.

Fort Washington--Friendly Senior High: Frank W. Peters.

Frederick -- Gov. Thomas Johnson High: Jodi A. Montgomery.

Gaithersburg -- Gaithersburg High: David G. Goehring, William G. Kienstra, Kathleen J. Weiss.

Gambrills -- Arundel Senior High: Gerard M. Callahan.

Germantown -- Seneca Valley High: Gina M. Gonano, Cindy L. Hsu, David M. Loeb, Mark Priven, Janet Sevy, Kathryn Summers.

Glen Burnie -- Old Mill Senior High: Timothy T. O'Leary.

Glenelg -- Glenelg High: Douglas F. Mayo-Wells, John M. Shenot.

Greenbelt -- Eleanor Roosevelt Senior High: William N. Barnett, David M. Dodge, Amy L. Giller, Laura F. King, Andrew J. Voss.

Kensington -- Albert Einstein Senior High: Philip W. Chu, Morris J. Dworkin, Benjamin B. Klubes, Ernest M. Otani.

Laurel -- Pallotti High: Kathleen M. Trautwein.

Middletown -- Middletown Senior High: Wendy J. Coleman.

Potomac -- Winston Churchill High: Johanna R. Bernstein, Jeffrey R. Boris, Jason A. Dominitz, Nicole F. Isaacson, Neera Kanhouwa, Jay H. Kaplan, Sandeep Kaushik, James C. Lee, John W. McCutcheon, Eric Y. Park, Alexander Tustian, Leonard J. Weltz, Sean R. Yingling.

Rockville -- Georgetown Preparatory School: Donald J. Urgo.

Col. Z. Magruder High: Roberta L. Bailey, Paul W. Cobb, Theresa A. Cosca, Adelaide A. Houck, Ann E. Pierce.

Richard Montgomery High: Bethany Miller, Fletcher M. Munter, Chong S. Park, Alan J. Parker, Edward D. Stein, Harold D. Stewart.

Robert E. Peary High: John T. Noble, Ruth Petzold, Tamara L. Wessel.

Rockville High: Tristan T. Brandhorst, Daniel J. Fritz, Stacy L. Harris, Carolyn A. Ikari, Jean H. Lee, William G. Mallet, Karen L. Schmidt, Rebecca L. Smith, James P. West.

C.E. Smith Jewish Day School: Jeffrey N. Fredman.

Wheaton High: Jason S. Meyer.

Charles W. Woodward High: Ora C. Panitz, Alisa R. Rubin.

Thomas S. Wootton High: Amy E. Bucher, Helena M. Chang, David H. Hammer, Michael K. Hillard, Kay Hwangbo, Scott B. Kuldell, Umar Mahmood, Richardo Metz, Ralph H. Mitchel, Melissa Nathanson, George A. Rankin, James C. Reardon, Abraham H. Wu, Albert M. Young.

Sandy Spring -- Sherwood High: Richard F. Cole.

Severna Park -- Severna Park Senior High: Ellen M. Balze, Raymond G. Dunsworth, Anne M. Jolly, Michael E. Lorenzen.

Silver Spring -- Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington: Michael A. Radkowsky, Brian Z. Weiss.

John F. Kennedy High: Charles L. Adler, Nancy E. Halpern, Ernest R. Post, Brian L. Ross, Mark R. Vagins, Ellen E. Witte.

Montgomery Blair High: Lisa K. McKelvie, Renya M. Reed, Claude M. Steinberg.

Northwood High: Ellen B. Davidson, Eric K. Gauzza, Charles F. Motter, Edward R. Stanford.

Springbrook Senior High: Walter T. Camp, Richard A. Deitz, Bram Kleppner, Martha S. Melnik, Cara L. Taussig, Jennifer L. Trainor.

Thurmont -- Catoctin High: Robert A. Plumb.

Upper Marlboro -- Queen Anne School: Erastus C. Dudley.