Frequently Asked Questions

Summer@ IMSA

Academics and Registration

Q.  My student lives outside of Illinois, can they attend your program? 
A.  Absolutely!  If you can provide the proper transportation and authorize other family members to drop off and pick up your student, we would love to learn with you.

Q.  When is the application deadline for these programs?
A.  Summer@IMSA programs are first-come, first-serve and programs fill quickly, so register as soon as you select the best program for your student. Our website details a registration deadline for each program.

Q.  I tried to register on line, but my preferred program is full. What are my options?
A.  You may opt for an alternate program, or elect to join the waiting list (online) for your preferred program.

Q.  My student is accelerated or gifted, can they attend a program for a grade level beyond the one they are entering?
A.  No, we have found making exceptions to this guideline is not successful.  Our programs are great opportunities to learn and have fun with other students of similar ages.  In the case of residential programs, it is often hard socially for children of younger ages to mesh in this short of a program.

Q.  What is the refund policy?
A.  For RESIDENTIAL programs, full refunds (less a $30 processing fee) will be given for requests received by March 31, 2017. After this date through April 30, 2017, a partial refund (50%) will be provided for residential programs. No refund requests for residential programs received after April 30, 2017 will be honored. For DAY programs, full refunds (less a $30 processing fee) will be provided for requests received through April 30, 2017.  After this date through May 31, 2017, a partial refund (50%) will be provided. No refund requests for day programs received after May 31 will be honored. ALL requests for refunds must be made in writing. You can direct requests by email to Please include the program name and week your child’s name, and your name. Phone call requests for refunds will not be accepted.

Q.  My student is going to be picked up by someone else, how do I authorize that?
A.   Please authorize the other driver on the Emergency Contact and Health form during online registration.  It’s also helpful to speak to your child’s group leader so they are aware that a different person may be picking up your child.

Q.  My student has a friend or relative registered in the program, can you arrange for them to be in the same section?
A.   We do not honor requests to pair or group friends or relatives.  The participants are grouped for a great mix of students encouraging a positive learning experience.  Friends can meet outside of academic times such as snack and free time, and they can meet new friends while engaged in the academic activities.  For residential programs, friends or relatives can be paired as roommates if both parties request each other by sending an email to your particular program. Please include the program name and week offered, your child’s name, and the name of the child being requested as a roommate.

Q.  I’m interested in a financial scholarship for my student, how do I apply?
A.  Limited need-based scholarships are available for students.  Scholarships are based on financial need and not academic performance.  Therefore, we determine eligibility based on students who qualify for, or participate in, a free or reduced lunch program, based on guidelines defined by the Federal Government. If you cannot provide proof of participation in the FRL program, you can submit your most recent federal tax return. All required scholarship forms must be uploaded to your online application for you to be considered for a scholarship.


Health and Other Questions

Q.  My student has allergies or food concerns.  How is that addressed?
A.  Our professional food service offers a variety of foods, including vegetarian options.  Please let us know about your child’s allergies via the online Participant Information Form and we will share that information with the nurse’s office.  You also have the option to send your child with a lunch if you wish.

Q.  What should I do if my student has health issues or concerns?
A.  Tell us about your concerns on the Health and Emergency Form.  We cannot allow students with acute contagious conditions to attend our programs, but students with conditions such as asthma or ADHD can attend enjoy our programs.  Students with Epi-pens and inhalers are required to carry their own medication. Our nurse is on duty from 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and other personnel are trained in first aid for remaining hours.

Q. How should I handle medication?A. We do not administer prescription medications during day programs, and will only provide children with over-the counter medications (i.e. ibuprofen) if you give permission to the nurse.  If your child has a prescription that they need during the day, and it is not a narcotic, they must carry it and administer it themselves.  If your child requires a narcotic prescription during the day, a parent/guardian will need to come to campus to administer this, unless advance, specific arrangements are made directly with the IMSA nurse.

In residential programs, all prescription medications for students are held in the nurse’s office.  A daily dose should be picked up by the student each day in the morning before breakfast. If a dose is needed outside of nursing office hours (7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) arrangements will be made with program/residential staff. If your child requires an over-the-counter medication, they should keep this in their room.  Residential counselors will not administer any OTC medications.


Day to Day Procedures 

Q.  What should my student wear?

A. Students must wear closed-toed shoes that fully enclose the foot (sneakers, boots, etc.) for safety in a lab environment. Students should be able to tie back long hair.  Please wear comfortable clothes that are appropriate for the weather – we do go outside! You may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket as the AC is stronger in some areas of the building.

Q. What sort of items should my student bring to the program each day?
A.  For day programs—nothing…lunch, materials, and equipment are all provided.  You will receive a pre-program email with more specifics.  Students change classrooms frequently and it is easy to lose things or leave them behind. For residential programs, the list of what to bring and what NOT to bring can be viewed or downloaded from the forms page via your registration account.

Q. What is your policy on devices?

A. Our policy on devices is similar to many schools—they are not allowed during the program day except at lunch (for all students) and in the evening (for residential students). Teachers may confiscate phones if they are being used inappropriately. Unless there is an academic reason, we strongly encourage residential students to leave laptops and tablets at home, as these can be an unnecessary distraction.

Q.  What should I expect on the first day of the program?  
A.  You will receive a more detailed letter with additional information before the start of the program, but for day programs be prepared to check in with program personnel and meet your students’ group leader on the first morning.  Residential students and their families will receive detailed information about drop-off and pick up.

Q. Will my student have a roommate in the residential programs?

A. Yes. Most residential students will have a roommate unless there is an odd number of students enrolled.

Q.  Is extended care available before or after hours?
A.  We do not provide extended care. Please be timely and prompt with drop off and pick up for the best and safest experience for every participant.  Our personnel need to prepare for the next day after day programs end at 3:00 p.m.  Late Pickup Fee:  IMSA day programs end at 3 p.m.  Any parent/guardian picking up a child late will be assessed a fee of $15 per child for any pickup 15 minutes late and $1 per minute thereafter. Late fees are due on the child’s next day of camp.

Q.  I’d like to carpool with someone; can I have information on other participants in my area? 
A.  We cannot give out personal information about other participants.  In the past, parents have introduced themselves to others to connect and form carpools.