Eighty-three IUSD seniors are among nation’s elite as Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Approximately 16,000 of the nation’s best and brightest high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the pursuit of scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. – and 83 of them attend schools right here in Irvine.

In Orange County alone, 278 students earned the prestigious distinction, as The Orange County Register reports.

As juniors, more than 1.5 million students entered the 2011 National Merit Program by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The highest scoring entrants were named semifinalists – an elite group that represents less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors.

These scholars now have an opportunity to pursue 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million.

To be considered for these awards, semifinalists must become finalists by fulfilling several requirements, including earning outstanding marks throughout high school, securing the recommendation of their principals and posting high SAT scores.

About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and approximately half of all finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the title of “Merit Scholar.”

In the meantime, to check out the list of IUSD semifinalists as compiled by the Register, click here.