A dozen students from Irvine, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Laguna Beach were among nearly 2,500 National Merit Scholarship winners in the organization's second round of announcements for the year.
The awards, announced Tuesday, will provide more than $35 million in funds to about 8,000 high school seniors.
Each recipient will receive between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of higher education.
U.S. colleges and universities award the scholarships to selected students who plan to attend the particular institution.
About 1.5 million juniors in high schools across the nation entered the merit scholarship competition when they took the 2012 preliminary SAT exam, which served as an initial screening of candidates.
Last September, about 16,000 students were named as semifinalists. The students were asked to complete a scholarship application, which included writing an essay and detailing extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions, the release stated.
From the semifinalist group, about 15,000 students met finalist requirements, according to the organization.
The Irvine winners announced this week include Northwood High School students Yash Gupta and Sonali Seth; University High School students Hee Seok Jeong and Pai Che Su; Irvine High School students Rebecca Jordan, Jeffrey Wang and Tina Zhu; and Beckman High School student Madison Lo.
Nicolas Markman, who attends Laguna Beach High School, was the sole winner for his city.
Anna Duan, who attends Edison High School, was the only Huntington Beach winner in this week's announcement.
Benjamin Din, who attends Fountain Valley High School, and Harrison Rhee, who attends Sage Hill School in Newport Coast, also received awards.