Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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How does the GSMS differ from regular schools?
The Governor's School for Math and Science (GSMS) is a residential school that operates seven days each week, enrolls only academically gifted students and provides a curriculum different from that found in the traditional public or private school.  It offers unique opportunities for students to enhance their academic skills in the areas of science and mathematics; deepen understanding of themselves and their unique abilities; become aware of existing problems and realize their capacity to be solutions; and engage others in critical-thinking and problem-solving activities.
Who can apply?
GSMS is open to all seventh-and-eighth grade students who are residents of West Virginia and attend school in West Virginia, including public, private, and home schools.  See Student Qualifications for more information.
Will I be notified when Part I of the application is  accepted?
If your application is successfully transmitted, a message thanking you for applying will pop up.  If the screen does not change, you have not entered some required date correctly.  Review the form and resubmit.  You will not receive an email saying your application has arrived.

How much does it cost?
There is no cost to students or their families for tuition, room, meals, activities, books or instructional materials. Only health and accident insurance, travel to and from the academy site, (WVU or WVSU), and personal expenses are the responsibility of the students and their families.
How do I submit my application?
Students must work through the school guidance counselor to apply to GSMS. The counselor will check your test scores and GPA to see if you qualify. It's your responsibility to check with your counselor and to complete the application and get the required references.  The application is in two parts.  Part I takes about five minutes to complete and is to be submitted online. Part II is the paper application and it must be submitted to the school. Students submit the completed application to the designated person at the school before the school deadline. The school turns it in to the county office, and the county superintendent sends in the names of the top choices in both grades 7 and 8.
How soon can I expect to know whether I have been accepted?
Students chosen to attend GSMS will receive a letter from Governor Justice approximately one month from the final deadline. The names of selected students will be published on the website approximately one week after the letters from the Governor have been mailed so that  all students will know whether they were selected.. 

Application Process

How are students selected to attend the Governor's School for Math and Science?
To be eligible for nomination and selection, a student must
  • Be a current resident of  West Virginia
  • Be in the 7th grade or 8th grade at the time of selection and attend school in West Virginia. Students skipping their eighth-grade year to enter high school are not eligible for the sessions at Morgantown; however, they may apply for the GSMS at W. Va. State.
  • Have scored at the Above Mastery level on both math and science or have scored at the  90th percentile level in math and science on a nationally normed exam such as the ones used in private schools. For current 7th graders, qualifying test scores may have been earned in either 5th or 6th grade. For current 8th graders, either 6th or 7th grade test scores may be used.
  • Have at least a  high B average in both math and science

The student must then complete an application. The application consists of Academic Profile, Student Profile, Teacher Recommendations, and short essay questions.  Each school must select its nominees and then send them to the district level. Each school district sends its allotted nominees to the state level. A statewide selection committee  reads the applications and makes final decisions about who will attend the program.

How competitive is the application process? 
Each school district is responsible for sending its nominees to the state level, and most often, this competition is very intense.

Does GSMS accept hand-written teacher recommendations?
Yes, although typed recommendations are preferred. Students will not be penalized if teachers hand-write the recommendations.

How are private-school and home-school applications submitted.
The applications of such students must be submitted to the County Coordinator in the county where the student attends school.
When are the applications due? Counties must submit their choices by March 25, 2017. The school deadline will be considerably earlier. Check with your counselor. Part I  should be completed online by March 10.

Can students who are moving out of state before school year 2017-2018 apply for GSMS?
No. Students must be intending to return to  school in West Virginia. One of the purposes of GSMS is make students aware of the different ways to learn and use science and math and to take that knowledge to their home schools.

Can a student who attends a West Virginia school but lives in a bordering state still apply?
No. A student must be a West Virginia resident in order to apply for the GSMS.

Can a student who lives in West Virginia but attends school in a bordering state apply?
No. Students must attend school in West Virginia in order to apply for GSMS.

Can students include additional pages in their GSMS applications?
Students should adhere to the directions on the application. If, for example, the application asks for three activities, the student needs to limit his/her  to three activities. The boxes on the form have limited space and although you might like to write more, edit!.  Remember: clear, succinct writing is better than pages of rambling.

Academic Components of the Program

Are grades or credits given at Governor's School for Math and Science? 
Neither grades nor credit are given; however, all students successfully completing the Program receive a certificate of completion.

Campus Life

What type of accommodations do students have? 
Students attending after 7th grade will  live in Honors Hall while on campus. This modern facility has lounges on each floor, and rooms are set up in suites with a shower and restroom facilities for every two rooms. Students attending after 8th grade at WVSU will live in the Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall which opened in fall 2014.  It is set up with suites as well.

May scholars request a roommate? 
No; students will be assigned a roommate. Students are informed of their room assignment on the day of arrival. The GSMS encourages students to meet and make new friends during the ten-day residency, and students will have plenty of time each day to visit with friends during mealtimes, at structured social events, and during free time.

May students go home on weekends? 
No. Students must remain at the GSMS through the weekends. There are activities, some involving travel, seven days a week.

Are students allowed to have visitors? 
No. Parents and other friends are asked not to visit other than the opening and closing days.
Will students be allowed to attend church services?
Students are scheduled for a full-day's activities, and Sunday is generally a travel day. Because they leave early and return late, attending church is usually not an option.