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The University of Alabama

Freshman with a Perfect ACT Score Now Calls UA Home

John Elder

John Elder

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Even though he made a perfect score on the ACT college entrance exam, John Elder of Clanton, now a freshman at The University of Alabama, says he didn’t do any abnormal amounts of studying before he took the test.

“I went to some review sessions put on by my teachers and had taken the ACT before as a practice test in school,” Elder recalled. After taking the test the final time, Elder received a perfect score of 36 and started having more choices for college than he thought possible.

Elder said UA offered a well-rounded college experience that appealed to him. “UA has come a long way since I came to see the campus as a freshman in high school — and you can see where the University is going in the future,” he said. In his time in Tuscaloosa, Elder said he has found that UA tries to help students achieve their goals by challenging them academically, socially and spiritually.

Elder was offered scholarship opportunities at numerous Ivy League schools, but he chose to come to UA. “It was something [UA President] Dr. Witt said,” the UA freshman explained. “He said that at those schools I would be around a uniform student body, but here I get an eclectic, overall atmosphere similar to the real world.”

Elder, a philosophy major, has been immersed in the best the University has to offer. Elder is an avid Alabama football fan, taking three honors classes, a member of the Freshman Forum and the Student Government Association, playing intramural sports and volunteering as a tutor for Tuscaloosa area schools.

“I think that my performance on the ACT helped me think critically and under time constraints, which really helps me out here at the University.”

And, choosing UA over the Ivy Leagues doesn’t mean college is a piece of cake, Elder has found. “UA is intellectually challenging,” says the student who adds that he is definitely being academically engaged in the three honors classes he’s taking this fall.

The University of Alabama moved closer to its total enrollment goal of 28,000 students by enrolling a record 23,878 students this fall. Enrollment at UA is up almost 10 percent over last year. The entering freshman class, at 4,378, is the largest in UA history.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.