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Recommendations for Starting a High School Summer Actuarial Program

The Committee and Summer Actuarial Programs

The committee works with college and university actuarial science departments to encourage the development and continuation of summer actuarial programs. To aid in this effort, we provide financial assistance to those programs that submit proposals and meet our qualifications.

Objectives of Summer Actuarial Programs

A successful summer actuarial program should meet the following objectives:

  • Increase awareness of the actuarial profession in the minority community.
  • Provide high school students with an understanding of the skills required to enter the profession.
  • Increase awareness of the actuarial exam process. It is recommended that this be addressed in a dedicated session as opposed to each speaker addressing the exam process, which can lead to confusion by the participants
  • Bring students into contact with actuarial professionals.
  • Introduce students to the varied work done by actuarial professionals.
  • Provide a recruiting opportunity to college or university math/actuarial programs. An important part of this objective is to continue communication with the participants after completion of the summer program.
  • Increase the number of minorities entering the actuarial profession.

Best Practices of Summer Actuarial Programs

While no program is expected to include each of the following best practices, we feel that each practice contributes to a program's ability to meet the previously specified objectives.

  • Dedicate programs to minority groups. Note that the committee has supported minority participants in non-minority summer actuarial programs.
  • Target, as participants, high school students completing their junior year.
  • Have actuarial professionals representing different areas of practice speak to participants.
  • Introduce participants to actuarial work through hands-on projects and/or case studies.
  • Have participants use computers and related business software to complete projects.
  • Have participants prepare research papers on topics related to the actuarial profession.
  • Have local actuarial employers host the program participants on site.
  • Provide workshops for participants to discuss leadership, SAT preparation and other skills a successful college student should possess.
  • Have participants take college-level mathematics and/or economics courses to introduce them to collegiate expectations of actuarial science students. College credit may be given for these students.
  • Provide recreational activities for the participants.
  • Provide feedback mechanisms for the participants to evaluate the summer actuarial program.
  • Continue communication with the participants after the program has been completed

The committee can provide contacts and resources for implementing these best practices.

Sample Budget for Summer Actuarial Programs

Program costs depend on a number of factors including the duration of the program, the number of students participating, and provisions for housing. A sample budget is shown below.

Sample Weekly Budget
Room and Board$8,000
Classrooms$2,000
Salaries$10,000
Transportation$1,000
Social$1,000
Administration, Misc$3,000
Total$25,000

Administration includes insurance, postage, educational supplies, printing and other miscellaneous program costs.

Funding Options

Summer actuarial programs receive funding from a variety of sources. The college or university hosting the program, local actuarial employers and the committee may all provide some level of funding.

The committee requires all programs requesting funding to prepare a detailed proposal. Startup funding for programs may be higher in the first year than in subsequent years. Long-term funding for new and continuing programs is subject to the availability of funds, the number of programs seeking funding, the extent to which the program meets the committee's qualifications and the effectiveness of the program. The committee has established specific criteria for measuring effectiveness.

Requests for funding will be accepted in the spring to fund the summer program.

Historically, the committee’s financial support to universities with minority high school summer programs has been about $5,000-$8,000 for each program.

Important Dates

Listed below are important dates and deadlines.

March 1 (at the latest)Application for summer program should be distributed to potential attendees and program details should be posted on the university's website and BeAnActuary.org.
May 1Application deadline for funding
June 1Funding decisions communicated to programs
June 15Funding distributed to programs
December 1Program evaluation report due

The Committee and its Summer Actuarial Program Partners

Listed below are summer actuarial programs that have received funding from the committee. The variety of funding levels reflects differences in program size, duration, and nature.

Summer Actuarial Program Partners
SchoolYears FundedFunding Level
(for last year funded)
Howard University1983 - present$24,000
Illinois State University1996 - present$ 8,000
Morgan State University2009 - present$10,000

Note: Howard University hosts a three week program and Illinois State University hosts a one week program. Morgan State University has a six week program that includes a broad range of insurance and risk topics, with one week focusing on actuarial science.

Contacts

The committee believes that summer actuarial programs are an effective means of attracting minority students to the actuarial profession. We are committed to helping those colleges and universities interested in establishing a summer program that will draw minority students into the profession.

For more information on how to apply for financial assistance for a summer program, please contact:

Cheré LaRose
Society of Actuaries
475 N. Martingale Road, Suite 600
Schaumburg, IL 60173-2226
847-273-8817
clarose@soa.org
Arnulfo Moreno
Casualty Actuarial Society
4350 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 250
Arlington, VA 22203
703-276-3100
amoreno@casact.org