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October 14, 2020

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Notre Dame's Patrick Mullen is the third NDP student this year and the 12th since 2009 to earn a rare 36 on the ACT. 

Notre Dame senior Patrick Mullen earned a 36 on the ACT. He says that Notre Dame Prep has given him "the opportunity to take rigorous classes and participate in meaningful extracurriculars."

The average ACT composite score nationally is 20.8 and for Michigan, it's 24.4. A perfect ACT score of 36 is rare in the state as well as in the U.S. — fewer than one half of one percent who take the test achieve a 36.

For Notre Dame Prep senior Patrick Mullen, who says first and foremost, his high school has given him a strong foundation of faith and the opportunity to help people through Christian service, it took him a brief minute or so to realize he was among that less than one half of one percent.

"I went online recently to see if the scores had come out, and when I saw five 36s across the screen, I thought the website was just explaining the highest possible scores for each section of the test and the composite," he said. "It took me a little more time and some extra scrolling to realize that they were actually my scores."

As a leading college admissions test, the ACT measures what students learn in high school to determine their academic readiness for college with tests covering four skill areas: English, math, reading and science reasoning. Each area is scored on its own scale of 1 to 36. A student’s composite test score is the average of those parts. 

"Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare," said Janet Godwin, ACT interim chief executive officer, in a letter congratulating Mullen on the achievement. "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."

In a photo taken last fall, Mullen, center, is with classmates and friends Robert Morgan, left, and Thomas Joppich.

The ACT is accepted by all major colleges and universities. NDP's Class of 2020 averaged 27.0 with 32 seniors scoring a 30 or above on the test. Notre Dame’s graduating seniors also averaged 1267 on the SAT and finished the year with an overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 3.787. Mullen's senior classmate Lars Boehme and 2020 graduate Jonathan Raju were notified earlier this year that they, too, scored a 36 on the ACT.

Rock star

Vlado Salic, who directs Notre Dame Prep's counseling department, said he wasn't surprised to learn of Mullen's recent achievement.

"Patrick's been a very dedicated and self-directed student," Salic said. "He's detail-oriented and focused with his eye on the prize. Patrick also recognizes the advantage of knowing a second or third foreign language and has a goal for becoming fluent in Spanish. Some might even describe him as a rock star, well, maybe after he's done with his guitar lessons."

Mullen said he likely won't end up a rock star as his college and career plans seem to veer in a different direction. He's got U-M, Harvard, Penn, Cornell, Princeton, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Washington University in Saint Louis, Indiana University, MSU, and Kalamazoo College on his radar for application possibilities, so far.

"I plan on majoring in business, finance or economics and potentially minoring or double majoring in computer science," he said. "I’d also like to end up with a career in investment banking in New York City."

Mullen, with his dad at Notre Dame's baseball field, has been a key member of Coach Jason Gendreau's varsity team.

For now, though, Mullen, who went to Holy Family for grade school, is working through his senior year and hoping for a normal end to his high school career, a career he says that will definitely help him get through college and beyond.

Reaching potential

"Notre Dame Prep has given me the opportunity to take rigorous classes and participate in meaningful extracurriculars," said Mullen, who also earned 2020 Academic All State honors as a member of the Irish baseball team. "From my two siblings [Kaleigh NDP’12 and William NDP’15], I can tell that the school prepares students for college incredibly well."

Mullen also said that if given the opportunity, he would definitely tell anybody considering attending NDP that no school will better prepare them for college "and that it will help you reach your potential as a citizen and Christian. The variety of clubs and the freedom to start new ones mean that anyone can pursue their passion at NDP no matter what it is."

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Comments or questions?

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at

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