This fall, 296 seventh-graders in the Beaufort County School District were invited to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program, according to a district news release. The number of local public school students eligible for the program has steadily increased during the past four years, according to the release. In the 2007-08 school year, 168 students were eligible. The program identifies academically talented students based on standardized-test scores. Candidates are then invited to take the ACT or SAT college entrance exams as seventh-graders.