FAQ for Incoming Students - Class of 2023 - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
IMSA's virtual campus is open with remote learning and working in effect for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.

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.
  • Will Sophomore Orientation still occur as planned?
    • All invited and waitpool students for the Class of 2023 must participate in Summer Orientation. The purpose of Summer Orientation is to help students prepare for the necessary adjustments to Academy life. IMSA traditionally conducts the program on-campus in Aurora. This experience is designed to ease the transition to the Academy for students and parent(s)/guardian(s).As we shared in your acceptance letter, due to COVID-19, Summer Orientation will not occur in June 2020. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and evaluate all options for Sophomore Orientation, including hosting the program virtually if we are not able to host Sophomore Orientation in person on campus. Final details will be shared with all accepted and waitpool students via email.Note: Invited and waitpool students must be accompanied by one parent/guardian. The cost is $75.00 per person and is collected on the day of Summer Orientation. If you have any questions regarding orientation, please contact Minerva Ratsamy in the Student Affairs Office at mratsamy@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. Students are selected based on placement test results. Notifications for those selected to participate in EXCEL will be released mid-June, as well as information regarding whether the program will be conducted online or on-campus at IMSA.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.