The Maryland Higher Education Commission recognized two Charles County Public Schools students as finalists in the area of academic achievement through the Distinguished Scholar Program. They are Mary Fletcher, a senior at Westlake High School, and Gavin Reen, a senior at La Plata High School.

The Distinguished Scholar program rewards finalists with a $3,000 scholarship per year for four years as an incentive to attend a two-year or four-year Maryland college or university. Students apply for the program during their junior year and are eligible for awards in three areas: academic achievement, talent in the arts, and national merit and national achievement.

Students considered for the academic achievement award must have an unweighted grade point average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale in academic subjects taken during their first five semesters of high school. Final eligibility is determined on the basis of grade point average and SAT/PSAT/ACT scores.

The $4.2 million program provides 350 new scholarships annually and provides continuing awards to students who maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The scholarship award can be used toward any college-related costs.