By DONNIE SEWELL | Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts
During its first three decades, the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts has provided students from across the state an opportunity to live in a community of learning at a public, residential high school that delivers college-level coursework in multiple disciplines.
As ASMSA prepares to enter its fourth decade, the search for the Classes of 2025 and 2026 has officially begun. While recent searches have focused on two early-entry admissions pathways for sophomores and an expanded arts curriculum focus, this year’s admissions cycle leans into a long-term strength of previous class searches — supporting the next generation of young women in STEM.
Traditionally, ASMSA has had more female applicants than male applicants for the residential program. When the current Student Center opened in the fall of 2012, it included two wings of residential space that provided an equal number of spaces for male and female students — Nichols Hall for females and Faris Hall for males.
When campus leaders decided to renovate the former convent and chapel complex, they decided to convert two floors of the convent into residential living space for female students.
Helen Selig Hall opened this August with residential rooms for 26 additional female students allowing ASMSA to grow its enrollment to about 260 students next year. The addition of the new residential hall helps meet an obvious demand while also expanding enrollment through targeted growth models as outlined in the 2025 Strategic Plan.
“Despite national interest in closing gender equity gaps in STEM careers, there is still a need to ensure that young women bring their talent, interest, and leadership to advanced careers in Arkansas and beyond,” noted ASMSA Director Corey Alderdice. “ASMSA is excited to continue our leadership is this domain by creating opportunities to support additional young women in the nationally-recognized residential experience.”
Students interested in attending ASMSA as sophomores have two pathways to consider — the Early Entrance program, for a small group of students in need of accelerated learning opportunities, and H.E.L.I.X. Prep Academy, which provides a bridge experience for students who face opportunity gaps that may prevent them from achieving their full potential.
ASMSA provides several opportunities for prospective students and their families to either attend special admissions events such as Preview Days and MASH-ups on campus and online question and answer sessions.
Students apply to ASMSA through a competitive admissions process that evaluates high school coursework, ACT/SAT scores, responses to essay questions, letters of recommendation, and other accomplishments. Finalist candidates are invited to attend Interview Weekends in April. The process is similar to application at selective colleges and universities.
The rigorous applications process assists ASMSA in identifying for admission well-rounded young Arkansans who possess a strong sense of character, actively give to their communities and seek out the most challenging coursework available to them while applying themselves to the best of their abilities.
Students must submit their completed online application, test scores, and letters of recommendation no later than March 1, 2023. To learn more about ASMSA’s application process and the requirements for admission, visit asmsa.org/ignite, call or text 501.622.5235 or email email@example.com.
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