Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar high schools announce National Merit semifinalists

From left are Laguna Beach High Principal Jason Allemann and students Ben Sharp, Charlotte Hoffs, Joseph Ravenna and Andrew Keyser. The four seniors were each named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
(Courtesy of Laguna Beach Unified School District)

Seniors from Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar high schools have been named semifinalists for National Merit scholarships, school officials said.

Laguna’s Charlotte Hoffs, Andrew Keyser, Joseph Ravenna and Ben Sharp and CdM’s Jeffrey H. Goldenberg, John A. Marlo, Liam Mickelsen, Lian M. Stemler and Ryan Tolsma will each have the opportunity to earn one of 7,500 scholarships, worth more than $32 million, next spring.

About 90% of the semifinalists across the U.S. are expected to attain finalist standing, with half of those students winning a scholarship, according to a Laguna Beach Unified School District release.

Semifinalists will be notified about their finalist status in February. Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in April.

The competition is very rigorous, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website. Scholarship winners are chosen based on their abilities, skills, extracurricular accomplishments and potential for success in college and beyond.

“This group of students fairly represents the product of hard work in rigorous classroom settings,” Laguna Beach High Principal Jason Allemann said in the release.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors. About 1.5 million juniors entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

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