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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Nov. 2, 2011

Missouri Academy student achieves top ACT score

Gretchen Ferguson, a second-year student at the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test.

Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, roughly one-tenth of one percent receive a top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2010, only 588 of nearly 1.6 million students earned a composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT’s optional writing test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges, and exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

Ferguson is the daughter of George and Suzanne Ferguson, of Washington.

“The Missouri Academy is about integrity and quality or ‘IQ,’ as we like to call it,” said Dr. Cleo Samudzi, dean of the Missouri Academy. “Gretchen shows both integrity and quality, and her perfect score on the ACT is an example of quality performance.”

Located on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University, the Missouri Academy is a two-year residential, early-entrance-to-college program for academically talented and highly motivated high school students.

Students selected to enroll in the program have completed 10th grade at traditional high schools, and the Missouri Academy program replaces their junior and senior years of high school. All of the curriculum consists of college coursework taught by professors at Northwest. Missouri Academy students sit side-by-side in classrooms with traditional university students, and professors have the same high expectations for these students as they do for traditional university students.

High school students who complete the program earn an associate of science degree as well as a high school diploma.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468