FAQ for Incoming Students - Class of 2023 - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

FAQ for Incoming Students – Class of 2023

To ensure the health and safety of visitors, IMSA staff, and students, on-campus Admissions events have been cancelled through June 30, 2020. In the meantime, several online/virtual events are available for admitted students to become familiar with IMSA and engage with current IMSA students.

The Office of Admissions remains open and ready to answer questions via email at admissions@imsa.edu, or by phone at 630.907.5028.

  • My SAT test was cancelled and there is no test offered before the deadline. Will I still be considered for admission?
    • Yes, you will still be eligible for admission even without SAT test scores as part of your reviewed application file. We understand that the cancellation of the March and May test dates will make it impossible for many applicants to submit a score to IMSA by the time admission decisions are made. In fairness to all applicants, we will be making admission decisions this year without the use of any SAT scores for all candidates.
  • If my SAT test was cancelled, do I still have to take it at a later date?
    • Yes, even though we will not be using SAT test scores to make admission decisions, all acceptances will be made on a conditional basis for students who have not yet taken the SAT test. All students will be required to submit official SAT test scores prior to enrollment. If your test date was cancelled, please register for the next available test date and have official scores sent to IMSA as originally planned.
  • What will be the process for sophomore placement testing?
    • To ensure access to all admitted and waitpool students, placement tests will be sent to students by mail. Please ensure your mailing address is correct on your application or email admissions@imsa.edu to make changes by May 8th.
    1. Packets will be sent on May 20th via US Mail. Please verify receipt of your placement test by May 27th with this Google Form: Placement Test Receipt Verification or https://forms.gle/o2uckz71gJL1yKLUA.
    2. Tests are to be completed fully, and without the use of notes, research, or answer assistance. These tests are used to place you in the classes that are best for your education. Parents and students will sign a consent form agreeing to this understanding.
    3. On the included scantron forms, please use a #2 pencil and fill in each answer bubble fully. Failure to do so will default answers as “incorrect”.
    4. Tests must be completed and postmarked no later than June 4th. Please confirm the date of returning your exam responses to IMSA via US Mail using this Google form:  Placement Test Receipt Verification. If you have any questions regarding placement testing, please contact Janine Hines in the Principal’s Office at jhines@imsa.edu.
  • When are registration forms due, including health forms?
    • All invited and waitpool students for the Class of 2023 must complete all required forms listed in their online registration portal, with the exception of health forms, by June 15, 2020. A late fee of $50.00 will be charged for late forms. All health forms, including physicals, must be submitted prior to classes beginning. New physicals are required for all incoming Class of 2023 IMSA students. Physicals must be dated on or after May 1, 2020 to be valid for the 2020-2021 academic school year.
  • How do I submit transcripts from my previous school?
    • Students can find the request form for transferring records to IMSA near the bottom of the Parents Page on the IMSA website. The registrar or counselor at your student’s school should send the records to the Office of the Registrar at IMSA. The full IMSA address can be found on the form for their reference.
    • When submitting the Transfer Records Request form, please be sure to fully inform your student’s home school about your intention to transfer them to IMSA and fill out any related paperwork. Many schools that only receive this form will not send records and transcripts to us until they hear from you directly regarding your student’s enrollment for the next year.
    • Parents are encouraged to submit records requests as soon as possible to ensure transcripts arrive by the start of the school year. This will minimize any challenges or conflicts when sophomores make transcript requests to the Office of the Registrar. Note that a final transcript is required to fully complete admission into IMSA.
    • Students taking summer courses should follow the same procedures. The registrar at their home school will also send an updated transcript in August reflecting completed summer work.
  • Will Sophomore Orientation still occur as planned?
    • As you know, all invited and waitpool students for the Class of 2023 are required to participate in Summer Orientation. The purpose of Summer Orientation is to help students prepare for the necessary adjustments to Academy life. Due to COVID-19 and with the health and safety of all IMSA community members in mind, we will be conducting Orientation virtually (online) during this summer. Our team is busy creating a robust virtual Orientation experience specifically for you!The virtual Orientation experience will consistent of two components:
      1. A series of online videos and modules to be completed at your own pace, which will be shared on July 1 via the Class of 2023 Orientation website
      2. A three hour “live” virtual session featuring three sample academic classes, a panel with current IMSA students, and a question/answer session with Principal and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Comfort Akwaji-Anderson and Chief Student Affairs Officer Ms. Katie Berger
    • You will receive an email asking you to register for one of the live Orientation sessions. The dates and times are provided below for your reference and calendar planning purposes:
      • Sunday, July 12th, 1:00pm-4:00pm 
      • Thursday, July 16th, 5:30pm-8:30pm
      • Saturday, July 25th, 9:00am-12:00pm
    • The Orientation registration email will include instructions on how to register for your live virtual session. To ensure each student has a meaningful experience, we will limit the number of students able to participate in each session. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis.
    • We are reducing the Orientation fee from $75 per person to $50 per student (no fee for parents) due to the transition from an in-person to a virtual Orientation experience. If you have any questions regarding orientation, please contact Amy Woods in the Student Affairs Office at awoods@imsa.edu.
  • What is the EXCEL program, will it take place on-campus at IMSA, and when will I find out if I’ve been selected to attend?
    • If an invited student is selected to participate in the EXCEL program, it is a mandatory three-week summer Academic experience prior to enrolling at the Academy. EXCEL is designed to improve a student’s academic skills in math, science, and English. Most students are selected based on placement test results. Notifications for those selected to participate in EXCEL will be released by June 19 and the program will be conducted online from July 13-31.
    • Update: Due to unforeseen circumstances, notification of students selected for EXCEL has been delayed until June 23. If you have any questions regarding EXCEL, please contact: Dr. Anita White at awhite@imsa.edu.
  • Will IMSA be returning to face-to-face learning for the start of the 2020-2021 school year?
    • On May 20, 2020 the IMSA Board of Trustees accepted IMSA President Dr. Jose Torres’ recommendation to begin the 2020-2021 Academic Year with distance learning and remote working with the intention of moving to in-person learning and working when IMSA meets the criteria for the Restore Illinois plan and there is treatment or a vaccine for COVID-19. The health and safety of IMSA students, faculty, staff, and community is paramount in this decision. All measures for distance learning and remote working will continue to be driven by the Academy’s mission, beliefs, and legislative charges.
  • With the decision to begin with distance learning at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, can incoming students expect the same innovative, high-quality learning experience as IMSA students receive in-person?
    • We have been practicing remote learning since late March and have just completed a student survey about the virtual learning experience. In fact, 94% of students participated and the results demonstrated that between 85%-93% of students indicated that they have received quality instruction in the remote learning environment. Moreover, between 84% and 88% of students strongly agreed that the course structure facilitates learning, expectations are clearly defined, instructional materials increase their knowledge and skills and tests/assessments accurately assess what they are learning. For the full results of the survey and additional information about IMSA’s remote learning experience, you can access the report here.
  • With the announcement that IMSA will begin the 2020-2021 Academic Year with distance learning, will student fees be adjusted?
    • Recognizing the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our IMSA families and in consideration of mitigated extra-curricular offerings, we will be reducing student fees by 50% for all students in the classes of 2023, 2022 and 2021. IMSA has and will continue to provide families the opportunity to apply for a reduction in their student fee by completing the Reduction in Student Fee application.  Applications should be submitted by July 1, 2020.  IMSA has a long-standing policy that no student will be denied enrollment to IMSA because of a lack of opportunity to pay fees. For your additional information and consideration, IMSA’s annual cost per student is $29,600. The State of Illinois provides public funding to partially offset the cost per student. Moreover, in accordance with the state law that established IMSA, the Academy is not permitted to charge tuition, or room and board fees to Illinois students enrolled at IMSA. However, student fees are permitted and necessary to close the gap between state funds and the cost per student in order to fully fund IMSA’s overall education program. Specifically, student fees support counseling services, student health services, transportation, student activities, co-curriculars, clubs, leadership development and the residence life program which includes social engagement, educational programs, and academic support. While transportation services will be on hold until we return to in person living and learning, students will continue to benefit from the menu of social and emotional support services offered by our staff as part of the IMSA experience.