Forty-five UHS students qualify for National Merit

 On September 16, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced its nationwide semifinalists, of which 286 were students from Orange County. Out of those 286 students, 84 attend schools in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD).

Approximately 1.5 million juniors took the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) in 2013, but only 16,000 students with a score of at least 220 out of 240 were selected for this honor.

Out of all the IUSD schools, University High School had 45 semifinalists, Northwood High School had 20, Irvine High School had 13 and Woodbridge High School had 5. Last year, IUSD had 90 semifinalists, with 54 coming from UHS, 20 from Northwood, 11 from Irvine and 5 from Woodbridge.

Anne Chen (Sr.), another finalist said, “I feel honored to represent Uni. We had the most semifinalists out of all the Irvine schools, which is pretty impressive. I had already taken the SAT before taking the PSAT, so I knew what to expect. However, the PSAT isn’t as easy as people think because even though there’s no essay, you can’t miss as many questions.”

The next hurdle for these semifinalists to clear is to be chosen as National Merit Finalists by competing for one of 1,300 spots. To accomplish this feat, not only do they need high SAT scores, but also a recommendation from a teacher, an impressive academic performance and a written essay.

Ms. Emily Pennington (College and Career Center) said, “The finalists are notified in February, and about 90 percent of semifinalists become finalists. Finalists are then considered to receive the National Merit Scholarship, which awards $2,500 to a little more than half of the finalists.”

Mr. Martin Stibolt (English Dept.) believes UHS students’ accomplishments are not surprising, thanks to the high achieving students and dedicated staff.

University High School totaled 45 National Merit Scholar Semifinalists for the 2013-2014 year, as listed below:

-Edel Auh

-Melissa K. Calica

-Wen Chang

-Anne V. Chen

-Melody Chen

-Christine Cho

-Brian Cook

-Thomas Z. Gui

-Staphany Hou

-Jessica Huang

-Kevin B. Huang

-Hee S. Jeong

-Vincent Jin

-Daniel D. Johnson

-Helen G. Kirkby

-Sahil Lamba

-Hoon Lee

-Kevin K. Lee

-Charlotte N. Lu

-Vinson Luo

-Yu Chen Ma

-Catherine R. Myong

-Diane A. Nguyen

-Yuta Okamoto

-Charl F. Potgieter

-Nikhil Rao

-William H. Sandholtz

-Trina Sarkar

-Thomas J. Seo

-Marvin Shu

-Pai Che Su

-Jennifer Y. Sui

-Sarah M. Sukardi

-Steven S. Sun

-Anne T. Tran

-Abhinand Vaddi Reddy

-Wei-Ping M. Wang

-Jingwen Wei

-Belinda M. Xu

-Samuel Yih

-Changyeon Yoo

-Hongfei Zhao

-David Y. Zheng


Staff Writer