Students from Irvine, Newport Beach, Fountain Valley and Laguna Beach were among 1,600 National Merit Scholarship winners announced as part of the organization's third round of scholarships for the year.

The awards, announced Monday, will provide about $33 million to high school seniors for college.

Each recipient will receive $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of higher education in the U.S.

About 1.5 million juniors in high schools nationwide entered the merit scholarship competition when they took the 2012 Preliminary SAT exam, or PSAT, 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.

From the semifinalist group, about 15,000 students met finalist requirements, according to the organization.

This week's recipients are as follows:

Fountain Valley: Amanda Stark of Fountain Valley High School.

Irvine: Jessica Huang, Daniel Johnson, Yuta Okamoto, Jaeyoung Seo and Belinda Xu of University High School. Lucy Su and Christopher Sun of Northwood High School.

Laguna Beach: Shawna Yang of Laguna Beach High School.

Newport Beach: Cayla Yasukochi of Corona del Mar High School and Jordan Berman of Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School in Irvine.