The National Merit Scholarship Program, which awards $28 million in annual scholarships, recently named 78 semifinalists from Irvine public high schools.
University High, with 32 semifinalists, was one of two Orange County schools with the most students honored. Beckman High had 14 semifinalists, Northwood High had 12, Portola High had nine, Woodbridge High had eight, and Irvine High had three.
The students join over 16,000 semifinalists recognized by the program for academic achievement, representing 1% of high school seniors nationwide.
About 95% of the semifinalists will achieve finalist standing, and about half of all finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.