• Academies of Loudoun Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


    All Applicants

    1.         Who can apply and attend the Academies of Loudoun?

    Public, private, and home school students who reside in Loudoun County, VA may apply to the Academies of Loudoun during the scheduled Fall or Winter application cycle. All applicants offered admissions must be concurrently enrolled as full-time students at both their home high school and the Academies of Loudoun for the duration of their program.

    2.         We are currently living outside of Loudoun County; can my child apply or attend?

    No, only applicants residing in Loudoun County, VA can apply or attend. NOTE: Military PCS applicants please call or email the Admissions & Outreach Office at 571-252-1992 or AcademiesAdmissions@lcps.org. Please refer to the Military Children’s Interstate Compact for specific information.

    3.         How much does it cost to apply or attend the Academies of Loudoun?

    The Academies of Loudoun is a Loudoun County public school; there is no cost to apply or tuition.

    4.         When can I apply to the Academies of Loudoun?

         Please review the “When to apply” document for program commitment and admissions criteria information.

    5.         I moved to Loudoun County after the application deadline. When can I apply?

    Only applications submitted during the scheduled admissions cycles are considered for the next academic year. Please review the “When to apply” to our programs document for more details.

    6.         My child has an IEP, Section 504, EL-APP; how do I request accommodations for testing?

    Students who are requesting testing accommodations for the Writing Assessment or STEM Thinking Skills Assessment must request the accommodations in writing to AcademiesAdmissions@lcps.org no later than the published application deadline. Important: Only accommodations that are part of an IEP, Section 504 Plan, or an EL-APP (English Learner Assessment Participation Plan) can be considered.


    7.        Are all Academies of Loudoun courses honors courses?

    All AET and AOS courses are honors level or above.  MATA course designations vary (academic, honors, or dual-enrolled with Northern VA Community College). Please visit the  LCPS Program of Studies to learn more about course designation.

    8.         Can students submit other information as part of the admissions process?


    No, students cannot submit anything other than the criteria listed for the Academies of Loudoun admissions process.

    9.        Can students attend two Academies programs at the same time?

    No, students can only participate in one of the curricular programs (AET, AOS, or MATA). All Academies students must work toward the completion of their high school diploma and complete courses at their home school in addition to the courses for the AET, AOS and MATA programs.

    10.      Can I take a course other than what is outlined for each program?

    No, our program follows a carefully planned sequence of courses. All students must follow the prescribed program of studies for each program.

    11.       Can I switch my AET or MATA pathway after the application deadline?

    No, applicants can only change their pathway choices while the application window is open. NOTE: Applicants are not guaranteed their first pathway choice. They may be offered their second or third pathway choice.

    12.      I have been placed on the waitlist. How does this process work?

    All programs have a waitlist. The waitlist process remains active until the first day of the new school year. Students who are waitlisted will be notified by email as seats become available. Note: We do not share specific information on where students fall on the list. 

    If a student is admitted for one program and waitlisted for another, the student may accept their offer for one program while remaining on the waitlist for the other program.

    13.      I am a current Academies of Loudoun student. Do I have to reapply for admission?


    The AET and AOS programs are four-year commitments; students do not need to reapply for admission.  MATA 2-year pathways are a two-year commitment; students do not need to reapply. 

    MATA 1-year pathways are a one-year commitment. Eligible students who want to return to the Academies of Loudoun for an additional, new pathway of study must reapply during the Winter Admissions Cycle.

    14.     Once enrolled at Academies of Loudoun, can I switch curricular programs?

    No, students are only offered admission to a specific curricular program. If students want to pursue a different program they must withdraw and reapply for the other curricular program during the winter admissions window.  See question 10 for additional information.

    15.      Can you attend Virtual Distance Learning and the Academies of Loudoun at the same time?


    Students are able to attend the Academies of Loudoun and Virtual Distance Learning simultaneously, however in-person attendance is required for ACL courses.

    16.      What score do I need on required assessments to be considered for enrollment?

    All applicants are evaluated based on the entirety of the published admissions criteria. There are no  benchmarks or minimum scores required.


    Fall Applicants – Current 8th grade applicants only

    17.       What do I need to know about the fall admissions assessments?

    • Applicants must register for their test session after they submit their online application. This can be done by logging into your online application and clicking on the “Tasks I Can Do” menu.
    • All applicants must print and present their personal test-ticket along with a photo ID at check-in on the day of their test session. Test-tickets will be emailed to all applicants and to the primary parent email included in ParentVue at the time the applicant registers online for a test session. Applicants may revise the day and time of their test session up until the application deadline. After that, no changes will be permitted.
    • Students applying to both AET and/or AOS programs take the same assessments.
    • Applicants applying to AET and/or AOS programs only need to register for one test session. Both the STEM Thinking Test and the Writing Assessment are administered during the same session.
    • All test sessions are in-person only.
    • All tests will be completed using an online platform. Laptops will be provided by ACL for testing.
    • Applicants may request bus transportation to and from their test session at the Academies of Loudoun within the online application. For those requesting transportation, details will be emailed prior to the scheduled test session.
    • Applicants will have 45-minutes to type a response to a STEM writing prompt using an online platform.
    • The STEM Thinking Skills assessment allows applicants 50-minutes to answer 33 multiple-choice questions using an online platform.

    18.      Where can I find more information on the assessments?

    Here are helpful links to help prepare for each assessment:

    o   STEM Thinking Skills Assessment

    o   How to Prepare for Insight Assessment Thinking Tests

    o  2023 Fall Admissions Released Writing Prompts & Scoring Rubric  

    19.       How are the results of the STEM Thinking Skills assessment communicated?

           The STEM Thinking Skills test scores will be mailed to all applicants via USPS in late April.

    20.       My student has completed Geometry (or Algebra II/Trig). Will they be required to take the AET/AOS mathematics courses as a 9th grader?

    Our programs follow a carefully planned sequence of courses. All students must follow the prescribed course outline for each program. The sequencing, advanced academic content, and rigor of the AET/AOS mathematics and science courses are quite different from the other LCPS courses.

    21.      When will AET program students take Biology?

    Biology is not included in the 4-year AET course of study however students can choose to take the optional AET Research Biology during the summer, or at their home school, or through Virtual Loudoun (this version is not a lab based course). Admitted students will need to work closely with their home school counseling office to create a 4-year high school plan for graduation. An Academies of Loudoun counselor will assist with the process.


    Winter Applicants – Current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade applicants only

    22.       I am applying to a MATA pathway. How do I upload my resume and career goal statement?

    Please login to the application portal. Under the “Tasks I Can Do” menu, click on the link that says, “Upload Resume” or “Upload Career Goal Statement.” All documents must be converted to a PDF format.

    23.       I did not take the PSAT (NMSQT). Can I still apply to the Academies of Loudoun?

    Applicants without a PSAT score report may submit an SAT or an ACT score report as a substitute. Results must be submitted to the Admissions Office prior to the application deadline to AcademiesAdmissions@lcps.org

    24.      I am in 9th grade and applying to the Academies of Loudoun and do not have a PSAT (NMSQT) score. What should I do?


    Ninth grade MATA applicants can substitute their PSAT 8/9 score for the PSAT (NMSQT).

    25.      I am applying to the AdvAET ITCS pathway and I have already taken AP Computer Science. Will I have to take this course again?

    If you choose to apply for the ITCS pathway, you should be aware that our version of the course is much more advanced than the home high school version and is a science elective credit rather than a math credit (you will get a math credit for the home high school version and a science elective credit for our version). Our AP Computer Science course includes a significant experimental component. Experimental research and engineering design experiences are all important elements in the AET curriculum and the students will be engaged in these experiences frequently as they move through the program. The content of our course is more comprehensive and goes much deeper than the regular LCPS high school version. Here is a link to our virtual tour of the Advanced AET pathway.  Advance AET IT Virtual Tour

    26.      I have been admitted into a dual enrolled (DE) pathway. What do I need to do?

           Please use the link below to complete the required registration for Dual Enrolled pathways:

    o   Steps to Register through NVCC


    If you have further admissions related questions, please contact us at:

    Email: AcademiesAdmissions@lcps.org 

    Call: 571-252-1992

    Updated 6/22/23 

Last Modified on November 16, 2023