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Newport Boasts 11 National Merit Semifinalists

Eleven students enrolled in high school in Newport Beach will compete to become National Merit Finalists.

Corona del Mar High School(Photo credit Michael Kim)
Corona del Mar High School(Photo credit Michael Kim)
By Nicole Mooradian

Eleven high school seniors from Newport Beach have been named 2013 National Merit Semifinalists, the nonprofit National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced Wednesday in a news release.

The students—whose attendance is distributed among Corona del Mar High School, Newport Harbor High School and Sage Hill School—are among about 16,000 semifinalists nationally in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Here are the Newport Beach semifinalists:

Corona del Mar High School

  • Ellen V. Naruse
  • Allyson P. O'Malley
  • Daniel D. Robertson
  • Alexander M. Walcott
  • Cayla K. Yasukochi
  • Raymond Zhu

Newport Harbor High School

  • Natalie A. Cernius
  • Wyatt M. Robertson

Sage Hill School

  • Allie M. Fudge
  • Erika E. Lynn-Green
  • Harrison K. Rhee

They will compete for about 8,300 scholarships worth more than a total $32 million. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to make it to the finals; just more than half of the finalists will win a scholarship.

The students will be judged by their scores on standardized tests, their grades, an essay and extracurricular activities.

Semifinalists were determined by their scores on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which they took as 11th graders. Only those who scored in the top 1 percent of their state were named semifinalists.

About 1.5 million high school juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT last year.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program, according to a news release from the nonprofit organization. The scholarships are provided by the organization and about 440 businesses and educational institutions.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

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