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Utah Students Outshine Other States in ACT Scores

Utah State Office of Education

Utah students have the highest ACT scores in the nation-- among states that test all of their high school juniors. This is the second year the state has topped the list since officials began paying for all public school students to take the college entrance exam, back in 2012.

Last year, Utah trumped eight states on ACT scores. This year it outscored 12, as more states have decided to offer the exam to students for free.  The exam costs upwards of $40 per student.

Mark Peterson is a spokesperson for the Utah State Office of Education.

“The ACT gets everyone thinking about college and [being] college and career ready,” Peterson says. “Even if you’re not heading off to college, if you’ve got those math skills, those reading skills and the science skills it prepares you better for life whether that’s in the military, whether that’s on the job, or whether that’s in college or university.”

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has a plan to get 66 percent of all working-age adults in Utah to have a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020. Part of that goal is getting all students to take the ACT. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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