More than 220 Orange County high schoolers were named National Merit Scholars on Wednesday as part of the annual scholarship program.
The Orange County Register reported that 95 percent of the 16,000 selected semifinalists will make it to the finalist round and be in the running to win one of 7,140 scholarships totaling $28 million.
Approximately 44 public and private schools in Orange County were recognized for each scholar’s academic achievements. Troy High School in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District and University High School in the Irvine Unified School District had the highest number with 32 students from each campus. Beckman and Northwood high schools and Orange County School of the Arts accounted for at least 10 semifinalists.
Incoming high school seniors who are interested in being considered for the distinguished program must earn a Preliminary SAT or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test score that reaches the top 1 percent in their state.
Moving into the next round, each semifinalist will submit a detailed application with an endorsement from a high school official and write an essay that demonstrates their academic record, school involvement and leadership qualities. The finalists will be announced in February.
With school safety being a top priority for the Westminster School District, its staff has equipped campuses with security cameras, buzzers to enter the front office and single points of entry to keep school sites secure.