Plainedge High School senior William Loughlin wants to pursue a career in physics and has amassed an impressive list of academic achievements to spur him on his way.
"Looking back, I can say I'm very happy with everything that I've done in high school," said the 17-year-old, who last month was named a National Merit Scholarship finalist. Winners will be announced in the spring.
Loughlin got perfect scores of 800 on the SAT's critical reading and math segments.
He also is an AP Scholar with Distinction — a designation granted by College Board, the Manhattan nonprofit that sponsors Advanced Placement tests. To earn the title, he got scores of 3 or higher on five or more AP exams and averaged 3.5 on all AP exams taken. The top AP exam score is 5.
Loughlin is president of his school's Quiz Bowl team, which last year was among 216 teams nationwide to advance to the National History Bowl. He has competed in the American and national history bees. This school year, he participated in the Intel Science Talent Search and the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair. His project explored whether computer scientists who drop out of college experience more or less success than those with a degree.
Loughlin has volunteered at the Children's Learning Center of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County.