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

    All Applicants

    1. Who can apply to 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.


    1. We are currently living outside of Loudoun County; can my child apply?
    • No, only applicants residing in Loudoun County, VA can apply. NOTE: Military PCS applicants please call or email the Admissions & Outreach Office at 571-252-1992 or AcademiesAdmissions@lcps.org


    1. When can I apply to the Academies of Loudoun?
    • Please review the “When to apply” document for program commitment and admissions criteria information


    1. 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
    • Important:  Only accommodations for standardized assessments that are part of an IEP (Individualized Education Program), Section 504 Plan, or an EL-APP (English Learner Assessment Participation Plan) can be considered.


    1. Are Academies of Loudoun courses honors courses?
    • All AET and AOS courses are considered honors level or above. MATA course designations vary. Please visit the LCPS Program of Studies to learn more about course designation.


    1. 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.


    1. Can students attend two Academies programs at the same time?
    • No, students can only participate in one of the STEM magnet programs. All 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.


    1. Can I take a course other than what is outlined for each program?
    • No, our programs follow a carefully planned sequence of courses. All students must follow the prescribed program of studies for each program.


    1. 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.


    1. 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. Waitlisted students will be notified by email as seats become available. We do not share specific information on where students fall on the waitlist.


    1. 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 apply to the Academies of Loudoun for another 1-year pathway must reapply during the Winter Admissions Cycle.


    1. Can I be enrolled in both  Virtual Distance Learning and the Academies of Loudoun?
    • Yes, starting in the school year 2023-2024, students enrolled in Virtual Distance Learning will be able to attend the Academies of Loudoun and Virtual Distance Learning on alternating days. NOTE: Virtual Distance Learning students offered admission to the Academies of Loudoun must attend "in-person" on the days they attend the Academies of Loudoun. 


    1. 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 is no benchmark or minimum score required.


     Academies of Loudoun Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Fall Applicants – Current 8th grade applicants only

    1. What do I need to know about the AET and AOS 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. NOTE: 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.
    • Applicants may request bus transportation to and from their test session at the Academies of Loudoun. A link to register for transportation will be provided within the confirmation email sent at the time an applicant submits an online application.
    • Applicants will have 45-minutes to type a response to a STEM related prompt using an online platform.
    • The STEM Thinking Skills assessment allows applicants 50-minutes to answer 33 multiple-choice questions using an online platform.


    1. How do I prepare for the AET and AOS assessments?


    1. How are the results of the STEM Thinking Skills assessment communicated?
    • The STEM Thinking Skills test scores will be mailed to all applicants via the USPS in late April.


    1. My student has completed Geometry and is currently enrolled in Algebra II/Trig. Will they be required to take the mathematics course again if they enroll in the AET or AOS program as a 9th grader?
    • The entry level of mathematics for both the AET and AOS programs is Algebra II with Trigonometry and Transformations, combined with Math Analysis concepts. Note: The sequencing of the AET mathematics courses is determined by the content in the three AET pathways and is very different than the sequencing in other LCPS mathematics courses.


    1. Biology is not listed as one of the courses in any of the AET pathways. When will students take Biology?
    • Biology is not offered as one of the courses in the AET program. Students can choose to take it at their home school, through Virtual Loudoun or as a summer school offering (ACL also offers AET Research Biology as an option during the summer). Admitted students will need to work closely with their home school counseling office to create a 4-year high school plan for graduation. The AET counselor will assist with the process.


    1. The AET Information Technology course progression includes AP Computer Science. Will I have to take this course again? This course is listed as a science credit in the AET pathway. How is it possible to receive a science credit for this course? 
    • In order to credit AP Computer Science as a science credit, the curriculum must include 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. Please see the Virginia Department of Education Superintendent’s Memo #022-15 for more information about the Use of Computer Science Courses to Satisfy Graduation Requirements  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2015/022-15.shtml


    Academies of Loudoun Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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


    1. 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.


    1. 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. AcademiesAdmissions@lcps.org


    1. I am in 9th grade applying to the Academies of Loudoun and do not have a PSAT (NMSQT) score. What should I do?
    • 9th grade MATA applicants may substitute their PSAT 8/9 scores for the required PSAT (NMSQT) score.


    1. I am applying to Advanced AET IT/CS pathway and I have already taken AP Computer Science. Will I have to take this course again?
    • If you have already taken AP Computer Science, we suggest that you apply for the Advanced AET Engineering pathway since there will be some overlap between the courses.  However, if you choose to apply to IT/CS, you should be aware that our version of the course is much more advanced than the regular home high school version and is a science elective credit rather than a math credit. The content of our course is more comprehensive and goes much deeper than the regular LCPS high school version. Our class is unique across all of LCPS and VDOE. Here is a link to our virtual tour of the Advanced AET pathway. Advance AET IT Virtual Tour. You will get a math credit for the home high school version and a science elective credit for our version.


    1. I have been offered admission into a dual enrolled (DE) pathway. What do I need to do?


    If you have further admissions related questions, please email or call: 



    Updated on 7/14/22


Last Modified on January 6, 2023