Howell students go above and beyond scoring perfect ACT’s and qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship


Out of the 1.9 million students who take the ACT every year, only about 3,700 get a perfect 36.

Three current Howell students, junior Austin Frazier and seniors Madeline Agee and Natalie Althof all got a perfect 36 on the ACT. 

“I don’t remember the test much itself except that I hadn’t studied, had a cold, and was cramming in the basement with friends 15 minutes before the exam,” Althof said. “I got my letter the next month when my friend dropped me off at home, and I screamed when I saw my score. It was an amazing feeling to see that all my effort in school had finally paid off.”

ACT scores can be influential to both college admissions and scholarship awards.

“I hope it will serve as a testament to my academic abilities for any colleges I apply to,” Althof said. “Hopefully it will be the key to opening doors I never thought accessible to worlds and possibilities that seemed too far away.”

Along with the three Howell students with perfect ACT scores four seniors Rachel Curran, Ella Palutis, Ashley Wunnenberg, and Natalie Althof also became National Merit Finalists. 

The National Merit Scholarship is based on PSAT scores and it provides students with $2,500 towards their education.

Only about 7,600 students become National Merit Finalists every year.