La Plata senior selected for National Merit Scholarship

La Plata senior selected for National Merit Scholarship

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) on May 8 named Alex Smith, a La Plata High School senior, as a scholarship winner in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Through the program, he will receive a one-time scholarship payment of $2,500. These scholarships are awarded on a state representational basis.

Merit Scholar recipients are selected for their high school academic performance and SAT scores, as well as for community involvement and leadership. The nationwide pool of finalists includes the highest entrants in each state. Smith plans to major in mathematics and will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the fall.

Smith has participated in It's Academic, and served as captain of the La Plata team for the past two years. He is also a member of the Computer Bowl and Robotics teams. Smith was named a National Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar by the College Board in 2012, and an AP Scholar with Distinction in 2011. AP Scholars are recognized for their performance on the AP exams.

Smith was chosen as a program finalist out of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 National Merit Program. Students are considered for the program when they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMST) as high school juniors. Merit Scholars are also selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

The NMSC is a non-profit organization that was established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit and National Achievement Programs. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC's funds and more than 500 business organizations and other educational institutions with the goal of honoring the nation's scholastic students and the pursuit of academic excellence. For more information about the NMSC programs, visit

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

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