Great Hearts Student Achieves Perfect ACT Score

Great Hearts Arete Prep October 28, 2016

Arete Preparatory Academy senior one of elite group to earn highest possible score

PHOENIX, Ariz.—October 26, 2016—16-year-old Ruth Kaylyn Oliver, a Senior at Great Hearts Arete Prep in Gilbert, Arizona, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. For the class of 2016 in the United States, only 2,235 out of nearly 2.1 million graduates who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.

Ruth is an exceptional academic student; currently she has a perfect GPA. Ruth is a mentor to new students, a peer tutor who works with underclassmen and is a three-sport athlete. She participates on Arete Prep’s swim, soccer, and track and field teams. She hasn’t decided which colleges she will be submitting applications to, but she does have a keen interest in technology and the space program.

“The Arete community is proud of Ruth and this truly amazing academic feat. Ruth’s pursuits and wholehearted commitment in the classroom and in our school community helped shape her into the well-rounded student leader she is. We are excited to see where Ruth’s continued hard work and dedication takes her in whatever field she may pursue,” said Julia Gillingham, Headmaster at Great Hearts Arete Prep.

In a letter to Ruth recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. While test scores are just one of the multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

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

About Great Hearts Academies:

Great Hearts is a non-profit network of public charter schools dedicated to improving education nationwide through classical preparatory K-12 academies. As the largest provider of classical education in the country, Great Hearts academies serve more than 13,000 students at 29 public schools in greater Phoenix, Ariz. and San Antonio and Irving, Tex., with waitlists that exceed enrollment. Learn more at

Key Statistics:

  • The Great Hearts SAT average over the past five years is 1210, a 200 point advantage over the national average.
  • 98% of Great Hearts graduates immediately attend universities and colleges, with 2% participating in military service or a gap year; 54% of graduates pursue a STEM-focused course of study in college.
  • The 340 graduates in the Great Hearts Class of 2016 were admitted to 327 colleges and universities in 46 states and seven countries.  In fact, graduates were accepted to 22 of the top 25 national universities according to US News and World Report.
  • The class of 2016 received an estimated $50 million in scholarships, averaging out to an astounding $147,000 per student!
  • Great Hearts academies performed well above state-wide averages on inaugural AzMERIT scores. Great Hearts’ pass rates were more than double those of peer district schools at the middle and secondary level, and +60% higher than peer institutions in elementary grades.

Bill Odell
Director of Communications, Great Hearts
(602) 889-5034

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