Student Nomination

Only Missouri residents who are high school sophomores and who attend eligible Missouri schools may apply. All areas of the application must be completed in order for the student to be considered.

Nomination forms should be submitted electronically to

Student nomination applications are due by 5:00pm, February 9th, 2018.

The MSA 2018 application process is a 2 step process.

+First fill out the online survey located at Verify accuracy of personal information about the student including name spelling and email addresses. Use complete names for school district and high school. Please fill out every question or your nomination will not be considered complete.

  • The student’s grade point average for three semesters for all courses must be based on a four-point scale as follows: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1. There are no provisions for giving extra weight to “accelerated” or “honors” courses. Plus and minus grades are not to be counted in the computation. In order to have a standardized method for computing GPAs from schools throughout the state, all schools must use this method, regardless of what scale the school normally uses. You may view the rubric to see how MSA will assign points to the GPA you record in the survey. Do not send transcripts. (Maximum of 30 points)

+Second, gather the rest of the necessary application materials and send them to MSA. You must send the following items in a single email with the email subject “Last Name, First Name _ MSA 2018 Nomination Documents”. One email per nominee.

  • (2) Letters of recommendation for your nominee
    • The selection committee requires two (2) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic abilities and personal character. One of the recommenders must be a teacher.
  • Student record and Test Information
    • A student will not be considered for selection if the necessary test information is not provided. There can be no substitutions. Scores will be equated so there should be no penalty or benefit for a student who takes a given test in a category. A scan or photocopy of the scoring page for the I.Q. test record form must be included with the nomination document. GAI will be used ONLY if FSIQ value is not available. Aptitude test score results are also required. We accept the ACT, SAT, PSAT, PreAct, and Aspire. (Maximums of 60 points for intelligence test score and 60 points for scholastic aptitude test score)
  • Essays written by your nominee
    • It is important for students to express their ideas to the best of their ability. Rubrics that will be used for scoring are available on the website. Students may type their essays in a Word document and the school may insert essays in the nomination form. (Maximum of 30 points from each of 3 readers)
    •  Essays must be set to 12 point Times New Roman.  Each essay must be on a separate page with scholar name at the top. 
    • Essay 1: Are you more interested in the lessons of the past or the future? Imagine you are required to spend a year living and learning in a different time period.  In 200-300 words, describe the year and location you would choose and why you would choose them.  Also include what specific lessons you would hope to learn over the course of the year.  The year you choose must be after 2067 or before 1967. Essay 2: There are many issues facing society that require the attention of smart, conscientious people. Pick a current issue and, in 200-300 words, describe why that issue matters and how you propose we bring about change.


All materials must be sent in PDF format. You must send the student letters of recommendation and the student written essays in one PDF document saved as “Last Name, First Name_ Letters and Essays”. Please send your aptitude test scores for your student nominations in a separate document saved as “Last Name, First Name _Aptitude Test.” The Parental Permission Agreement is to be sent in a PDF document entitled, “Last Name, First Name_Agreement.” You will send these three attachments in one email to the academy for your nominee. Your student nomination will be one of hundreds. We want each nomination to receive all the attention it should, so we require that you send your nominations in this format to minimize the margin for potential error or misplaced documents. As we are working with deadlines we ask that you not send in nominations via mail. If you do not submit your nomination materials in this manner, your nomination will not be considered valid or complete. You will receive an email informing you if your nomination is not in the correct format.

If you have questions please contact us at


You will receive a confirmation that your application is complete and has been received. The confirmations will be sent on a rolling basis. Please do not email us to see if your application has been received.  If you have not received confirmation by February 19, you may contact us to confirm.


For the first time in the history of the academy, we are receiving no financial support from the state legislature for MSA this year.  A significant portion of the cost of MSA 2018 has been provided through the generous financial contributions of many different units at the University of Missouri, and the office of the President of the University of Missouri System.  Still, it is necessary this year for us to implement a $650.00 scholar activity fee in order to maintain the quality, breadth, and depth of programming that is the hallmark of MSA.

For scholars receiving free or reduced lunch subsidy the scholar activity fee will be waived.

Details regarding payment methods and deadlines will be provided after scholar selection has been made in March. If you have questions about the scholar fee, please contact Director Steve Keller at

To see Frequently Asked Questions regarding student nomination, please click here.

Click below to download a printable handout with the full nomination process instructions, including essay prompts.

Download the Form