Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How many students are admitted? Is admission automatic?

We expect about 60 first-year students at each site, supported by approximately 12-15 counselors as well as on-site admin.

The admission process is competitive due in part to the sheer volume of applicants each year. In 2023, about 15% of the applicants with complete applications were accepted. Successful applicants generally have a strong high school record and exhibit excellent work on the mathematical problems that form part of the application.

If you have any interest in the Ross Program, please do apply. We would hate to lose out on a great participant because you chose not to apply.

What is the ratio of boys to girls?

In 2023, about one-third of the participants reported identifying as female.

What is the average age? What is the age spread? Is my child too young/old?

Nearly all first-year students are 15 to 18 years old, and the average age is usually 16 or 17. In rare cases we admit some exceptionally mature 14 year olds, as well as some students who have already graduated from high school.

Where do the students come from?

Ross participants come from all over the United States, and from several other countries. In addition to students from China, South Korea, and India, we have hosted students from other countries, including Botswana, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey.

How does the Ross Program compare to other summer math programs like PROMYS, Canada/USA Mathcamp, HCSSiM, SUMaC, HSMC, etc?

Prominent summer math programs for high school students are listed on various sites. A key feature of the Ross Program is that the students concentrate deeply on just one subject for the entire session. We are convinced that this level of focus and depth is far more valuable than short overviews of many different topics.

PROMYS at Boston University is the summer program most similar to the Ross Program.

Packing List Questions

What do students need to bring?

Students provide their own towels and washcloths, pillows, clothes hangers, shampoo, soap, and other personal items. Since towels and pillows are bulky to transport, staff members will take students to stores where those items can be purchased at fairly low costs. Students should also bring clothes appropriate for a warm Columbus summer, in air-conditioned buildings. It’s a good idea to bring a jacket and rain gear. A certain amount of cash is needed for items like snacks and souvenirs.

How do most students handle money – cash, credit cards, ATMs?

Nearby stores accept all major American credit cards. Students may use ATMs to withdraw cash from home accounts. If there is a problem, one of the staff members can take students to a bank to help them get a cash advance, cash personal checks, etc.

Off-campus trips may be organized by Ross staff members. Students participating in those excursions may be asked to pay a small fee. Washers and dryers in the dorm are provided without additional charge, and staff will acquire community-shared detergent. There is not much more that students are expected to buy. Some students purchase books, extra food, souvenirs, etc.

Is there shopping within easy access?

There are stores nearby, but students should not leave the campus unless accompanied by a Ross staff member. If special items are needed, Ross staff will arrange to transport students to a store.

Are laptop computers allowed? What about other electronic devices?

Mathematical ideas presented in the Ross Program are investigated with pencil and paper. There may be one or two optional special lectures or workshops which ask students to use electronic tools, such as laptops, but aside from these, we ask students to refrain from using their phones and other electronic devices.

Students are not allowed to bring TV sets, video game systems, DVD players, etc.

Partipants are NOT allowed to photograph or video other participants, or post or otherwise disseminate such content, without the express and enthusiastic consent of everyone involved.

Transportation Questions

What is the transportation around campus? e.g. to/from lectures and the dorm?

All travel on campus is by walking. Students with chronic or acute disabilities preventing them from moving about campus will have accommodations made.

Where are the math lectures and seminars held?

Lectures and seminars will be held in nearby campus buildings, usually within a few blocks of the dormitory.

Is there transportation to/from the airport if an attendee flies in or out unaccompanied?

Students who fly to attend the program at Ross/Ohio will arrive at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH). Students who fly to attend the program at Ross/Indiana will arrive at the Indianopolis International Airport (IND). Ross staff members will meet arriving students in the terminal, and make arrangements to transport them to the dormitory. At the end of the program, Ross staff will arrange for transportation back to the airport.

Can participants bring cars, bicycles, skateboards, etc.?

No, participants are not allowed to bring cars. They are also not allowed to bring bicycles, scooters, skateboards, or similar items.

Health Concerns

Is a physical required?

No, but we need to know of any existing medical conditions and current medications, so a health history is required.

Do we need health insurance?

Yes, each student must have medical insurance with coverage in Ohio or Indiana. Proof of insurance is required. If you do not have adequate coverage, we can suggest places to purchase short-term health insurance.

Is there a nurse on duty and doctors on call? Is there a campus clinic that they can attend for minor problems?

The campus does not offer a medical clinic, but university staff members with training in first-aid are available 24 hours per day. If a student is sick or injured, a counselor or staff member will transport and accompany them to a nearby hospital or clinic.

Is there a pharmacy on campus?

There are pharmacies a mile or so away from campus. Ross staff members will organize a shopping mall trip for those students who need to purchase items at a pharmacy.

International Concerns

Do you accept international students?

Every year, several talented and enthusiastic students from outside the U.S. are accepted to the Ross Program. We require reasonable fluency in English. Some financial aid is available for international students, but we can rarely provide support for travel expenses.

What sort of visa is needed?

Students at the Ross Mathematics Program are not registered as college students, and do not receive official credit from the University. Therefore this Program is classified as a "mathematical vacation" so you may use a tourist visa (B-2).

However, there are serious concerns about travel restrictions and quarantines imposed to combat the pandemic. Those rules might prevent some students from attending the Program. We hope that many of those restrictions will be lifted by June.