OLD TOWN — Latin School of Chicago senior Hedy Gutfreund has added a National Merit Scholarship to her list of academic achievements.
Gutfreund was one of 2,500 recipients chosen from more than 15,000 finalists in 2014.
The award is based on a combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in college studies, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Gutfreund scored a 36 on her ACT exam, the highest possible mark. Of all students taking the college admission test across the country, less than one-tenth of one percent score a 36, according to ACT officials.
The test features about 200 questions, covering English, math, reading and science, plus an optional essay. According to one leading test prep book, to score a 36, students need to answer every question correctly on the math, English and science portions and are allowed only two missed questions in the reading test.
Gutfreund, a Gold Coast resident who is headed to Yale University in the fall, said she is leaning toward majors related to political science or philosophy.
"I’ve had amazing teachers," she said. "I've been at Latin my whole life and I've always loved it. I just love high school. I loved my extracurricular. I loved my classes."
Outside of her work excelling in the classroom, Gutfreund spent four years on the staff of the school's newspaper, The Forum, four years on the model United Nations club and acted as a freshman sophomore and senior.
Gutfreund is also the editor in chief of Polyphony H.S., an international student-run literary magazine.
"I guess it's finding balance, and I think I found that," she said.
She was a semi-finalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, a prestigious award presented to "some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors." The award is based on standardized test scores, essays and student transcripts.
Gutfreund did not win the award but said being considered was an honor and "one of the great ways I've been ending my senior year and my time in high school."
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