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NMSC awards multiple CCSD students with $2,500 scholarships

RELEASE DATE:  May 17, 2024

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the winners of the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship for the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program last week, and the following students from Charleston County School District (CCSD) students earned the honor: 

Academic Magnet High School

Colin C. George

Maryn G. Tombs

James Island Charter High School

Harold L. Mullin


Lucy Beckham High School

Lilah J. Smith

“We are so proud of these two Academic Magnet students, and not at all surprised that they earned this remarkable honor,” said Academic Magnet Principal Jake Perlmutter. “We can all expect to hear even more great things from them in the future.”

Seven total CCSD students have earned scholarships in this 69th annual program so far. Three seniors from Academic Magnet picked up corporate-sponsored scholarships last month.

“Harry embodies the qualities of an exceptional student – intelligence, determination, community involvement, and a strong passion for learning,” explained Jennifer Smillie, who is Mullin’s school counselor at James Island Charter High School.

According to NMSC, these winners are the finalists in each state that are judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

"We are very proud of Lilah's exemplary performance and commitment to excellence in all she does," said Lucy Beckham's principal, Anna Dassing. "Lilah embodies the 'I's' the Tiger our students strive for through intelligence, integrity, and involvement.  We know that she will go on to do great things, and we are proud to call her a Bengal."  

NMSC finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

High school juniors entered this year’s National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

Once students were selected as semifinalists, they fulfilled requirements to become finalists. They submitted a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance. From the semifinalist group, over 15,000 students met finalist requirements.

By the conclusion of the 2024 competition, more than 6,870 finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of nearly $26 million in college scholarships.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships offered each year are underwritten by some 320 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC’s efforts to honor the nation’s scholastically talented youth and encourage academic excellence at all levels of education.