Each public school district and private school in Missouri is eligible to nominate at least one sophomore student for the Academy. Larger schools have the option of nominating more than one student on a prorated basis according to enrollment. Nominees must be Missouri residents enrolled in eligible Missouri schools. School districts will be mailed information about the number of students they can nominate in mid November.
Schools nominating students for the Academy are required to provide specific information to the University of Missouri. A selection committee comprised predominately of teachers from across the state will evaluate nominations. Participants are selected on the basis of the following criteria and factors:
- Student scores from selected individual intelligence and aptitude tests (no older than three years)
- Grade point average
- Two student essays
- Evidence of leadership, creativity, intellectual curiosity, problem-solving ability, initiative, and the projected benefits to the student for participating in the Academy, as described in two letters of recommendation from persons of the student’s choosing
- Commitment to remain at the Academy throughout the entire three-week experience