Frequently Asked Questions

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.  What is the refund policy?

A. Full tuition refunds (less the non-refundable $50 registration fee) will be honored through April 1. Any cancellations after April 1 and through May 1 will receive a refund of 50% of the tuition. No refunds whatsoever will be granted after May 1. Requests for tuition refunds (less the $50 non-refundable registration fee) must be made in writing by sending an email to Please include the name and dates of the program and the participant’s name.

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 Information questions 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. Each IMSA summer program typically consists of multiple groups. If you wish your child to be paired with a friend in the same group, the request must be made by both parties. No more than one mutual request will be honored (i.e. we cannot group three students together). For residential programs, Your child can request a friend or family member to be their roommate (all participants will have a roommate) and/or to be in their group throughout the week. Programs typically have more than one section. This form can be filled out online by logging in to your account after completing registration, and is due on the Sunday 2 weeks before your program starts. IMSA reserves the right to seperate friends if their pairing becomes a disruption.

For residential programs, friends or relatives can be paired as roommates if both parties request each other. Please follow the same instructions as the Day Program Friend Request Form (above)

Q.  I’m interested in a financial scholarship for my student, how do I apply?

A. Limited financial-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, or on the family total reported income on the most recent tax return. You can apply for a scholarship by selecting the scholarship button for your desired program. All required scholarship forms must be uploaded to your online application for you to be considered for a scholarship. Please note scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, so it benefits you to complete all required parts of the scholarship application as soon as possible.

Helpful Information for Summer @ IMSA Registration

Health and Other Questions

Q.  My student has allergies or food concerns.  How is that addressed?

A.  Our professional food service (for Aurora programs only) offers a variety of foods, including vegetarian options.  Please let us know about your child’s allergies during the registration process 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. Students in programs at non-Aurora sites must bring a sack lunch. If your child uses an EpiPen, he or she must carry it with them during the day.

Q.  What should I do if my student has health issues or concerns?

A.  Tell us about your concerns on the Emergency Contact and Health Information Form that is completed during the registration process.  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 EpiPens and inhalers are required to carry and administer their own medication. Our nurse is on duty from 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  at our Aurora location 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.  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. If your child uses an epiPen or inhaler, they must carry this with them during the day.

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.) IMSA’s residential staff will administer the dose. If your child requires an over-the-counter medication, they should keep this in their room.

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 you are in.

Q. What sort of items should my student bring to the program each day?

A.  For day programs—nothing: all materials and equipment are provided. All non-Aurora participants will need to provide their own lunch.  You will receive a pre-program email a week before your program begins with more specifics.  Students change rooms 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.

Summer @ IMSA Residential Program Packing List

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 detailed email with additional information before the start of the program (including information on pick up and drop-off, 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.

Sample Day Program Schedule
Sample Residential Program Schedule

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.  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.