The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced the names of five local students who are in the running to win one of approximately 800 achievement scholarships worth a total of $2.5 million.
The National Achievement Scholarship Program was created in 1964 to recognize academically promising black students throughout the nation, according to a news release.
Caroline Moore from Fountain Valley High School, Amber Gibson from Edison High School in Huntington Beach and Oluwafemi Akapo, Rachel Skelton and Bethelhem Telahun from University High School in Irvine were named semifinalists on Wednesday.
More than 160,000 high school juniors requested consideration in the annual program when they took the 2012 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Of the approximately 1,600 semifinalists, about 1,300 are expected to advance as finalists. They will be announced in January.
To advance, semifinalists and their schools must submit detailed scholarship applications providing information about the students' academic records, participation in school and community activities, leadership skills, employment and honors and awards received.
Finalists will compete in spring 2014 for either a $2,500 National Achievement Scholarship or a business-sponsored scholarship. The latter types are given out in various amounts and some are renewable for four years of college, the release said.
Scholarship recipients will be announced in April.