Nearly 100 IUSD seniors rank among nation’s elite as Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Ninety-six IUSD seniors are in some very elite company this week, having been named semifinalists in the annual pursuit of scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Overall, 16,000 earned the prestigious honor in the U.S., representing less than 1 percent of all high school seniors. Of that total, some 270 attend schools in Orange County, according to a report in The Orange County Register.

As juniors, more than 1.5 million students entered the 2012 National Merit Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The highest scoring entrants now have an opportunity to pursue roughly 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million.

Of course, semifinalists can only become finalists by fulfilling a number requirements, including earning outstanding marks throughout high school, securing the recommendation of their principals and posting high SAT scores.

Program organizers say more than 90 percent of semifinalists will ultimately advance to the next round, 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.