Five Tucson-area teens have been named National Merit Scholarship winners.

The high school seniors were awarded corporate-sponsored scholarships.

The winning students are: Ruijia Li of Basis Oro Valley; Stephanie H. Liu and Shuoyang Sun of University High School; Jessica L. Todsen of Catalina Foothills High School; and Ana D. Trifonova of Cienega High School.

Approximately 1,000 high school seniors were awarded corporate-sponsored scholarships across the country, financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations.

Corporate sponsors provide scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities they serve, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of the awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000.

Students entered the National Merit competition when they took the 2012 preliminary SAT, which served as a screening of entrants. In September, approximately 16,000 of the highest-scoring students in each state were named semifinalists. Of those students, about 15,000 advanced to the finalist level.

In the end, approximately 8,000 scholarship winners were identified for having the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.