Three San Clemente High School students have been named 2013 National Merit Semifinalists, the nonprofit National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced Wednesday in a news release.
Ethan W. Gacek, Alexander Zhang, and David W. Zhu are among about 16,000 semifinalists nationally in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Gacek indicated he wants to pursue applied mathematics, Zhang is interested in computer and information sciences and Zhu wants to go into business management.
The students will compete for about 8,300 scholarships worth more than a total of $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.
Capistrano Unified had 16 students named to the semifinalist list..
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.
—Patch Editor Nicole Mooradian and City News Service contributed to this report.