Latest ACT Data Shows Arizona Students Fall Below State Universities’ Standards

Latest ACT Data Shows Arizona Students Fall Below State Universities’ Standards

By Corinne Murdock |

According to the latest ACT scoring data, the average Arizona student doesn’t achieve an ACT score recommended as a minimum by Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the University of Arizona (UArizona). 

On Tuesday, the ACT organization announced that the national average score for its eponymous college admissions test was the lowest it’s been in over 30 years: 19.8. However, Arizona fared worse: 18.3. The state’s students, on average, also fell below the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks.

If students go by their ACT scores, ASU requires first-year in-state applicants to have scored at least a 22 overall, while out-of-state applicants must score a 24. Both NAU and UArizona require freshmen applicants to score at least a 21 in English, 24 in math, and 20 in science.

All three universities present the ACT score as one of several possible criteria for admission, offering SAT scores, GPAs, and even certain courses taken as alternatives. During the pandemic, the three state universities made the SAT/ACT optional.


The organization noted in its state-by-state breakdown of data that the most accurate way to compare composite scores would be to compare the averages of states sharing similar percentages of graduates tested. 

Even within that context, Arizona fared poorly according to the 64 percent of student scores available for review. The state with the next-highest percentage of graduates tested, Missouri (66 percent), boasted a composite score of 20.12. The state with the next-lowest percentage of graduates tested, South Dakota (58 percent), boasted a composite score of 21.42. 

In a press release, ACT CEO Janet Godwin explained that this year of poor performance was the fifth consecutive year of decline: a “worrisome trend.” Godwin noted “longtime systemic failures” in the educational system, predating the pandemic, brought the nation’s students to this point. 

“A return to the pre-pandemic status quo would be insufficient and a disservice to students and educators,” stated Godwin. “These systemic failures require sustained collective action and support for the academic recovery of high school students as an urgent national priority and imperative.”

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Three New State Lawmakers Selected To Fill House Vacancies

Three New State Lawmakers Selected To Fill House Vacancies

By Terri Jo Neff |

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday that Neal Carter and Teresa Martinez will serve out two of the vacant terms in the Arizona House of Representatives.

Carter, a Republican from San Tan Valley, will fill the LD8 seat made vacant last month when Rep. Frank Pratt passed away, while Martinez will serve LD11 by finishing off the term opened up when fellow Republican Bret Roberts stepped down for family reasons.

“Both bring tremendous experience and leadership which will help the Republican Majority advance good public policy in the upcoming session for the residents of Legislative Districts 8 and 11, and for all of Arizona,” House Speaker Rusty Bowers said upon hearing of the selections.

Martinez currently serves as Director of Coalitions and Hispanic Outreach for Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar. She previously served as a Voting Rights Ambassador for the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and as Political Director and Coalitions Director for the Arizona Republican Party.  

“I sought to serve in the State Legislature because I want to do the tough work on behalf of the people who live in Pinal County,” Martinez said. “Work that will improve quality of life, promote freedom for all, and make government more accountable to the people it serves. I am ready to do that!”

Carter, an attorney and a small business owner, narrowly lost to Pratt in the August 2020 Republican primary by less than 90 votes.

“I appreciate the Board of Supervisors for their vote of confidence,” Carter said. “Serving as state representative is a position of sacred trust, and it is my commitment to serve the people of District 8 with as much diligence as I can to live up to that trust.”

Meanwhile, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisor selected Christian Solorio, a Democrat, to complete the term in the House for LD30 made vacant when Rep. Raquel Terán was selected to fill the vacancy created when Sen. Tony Navarrete resigned in the aftermath of child molestation charges.