Troy High School senior Noah Carter a National Merit Finalist

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Troy High School senior Noah Carter has been named a National Merit Finalist. Carter recorded one of the highest PSAT scores in the nation.

The congratulatory letter was addressed to Noah Carter. 

But as far as the Troy High School senior was concerned, it may as well have been sent to every teacher he’s ever had at Troy.

“They’ve been the only reason I can get here, really,” said Carter, who found out Monday he has been named a National Merit Finalist. “Without my teachers, I probably couldn’t have gotten to half of this.”

Carter, the son of Julie and Jeremy Carter, recorded one of the top scores in the nation on the PSAT test, taken in the fall of 2022 by then-high school juniors. Last fall, he was notified he recorded one of the top 16,000 scores out of 1.3 million students who took the test and was a National Merit Semifinalist. Less than 1 percent of all students who took the test were named semifinalists.

From that pool of 16,000 semifinalists, 15,000 were named finalists. Carter now hopes he’s one of about half of the National Merit Finalists who earn a National Merit Scholarship. 

“I knew the odds were pretty likely since they don’t do a very rough cut down, but I’m still glad to have it happen,” Carter said of being named a finalist.

Carter has a 4.4 grade point average, which puts him in the top 10 of his class. He’s been on the principal’s list every semester in high school, and last year, he was the Rensselaer Medal Winner as the top mathematics student in the junior class.

He’s a member of the Troy Academic Quiz Team, which won the school’s first league title last year and earned a trip to state. He’s a member of the Math Club, Chess Club, and Latin Club. He’s also done volunteer work for the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance.

Carter said he figured out early in his high school career that his performance in the classroom could carry him a long way in life.

“I think the real moment was freshman or sophomore year, when I started realizing that these classes are who I’m going to be, what I’m going to know, and these are setting the path for my future,” he said.

Carter will graduate from Troy High School in less than four months and is looking at several possible colleges to attend after he graduates.

“I’d like to go into mechanical engineering, and I’ve applied to a few schools, but I’m still not sure which one it’s going to be. I’ve applied to Princeton, Cornell, Rensselaer (Polytechnic Institute), Ohio State, and the University of Dayton,” he said. “Right now, it’s between Ohio State or Cornell if the application comes back.”

No matter what his future holds, however, Carter said he’ll never forget where it all began for him.

“It’s meant the world; it’s a lot better than a lot of the neighboring schools, and I’m glad to be here as opposed to anywhere else,” Carter said.