Illinois State’s actuarial science program has a national reputation. But it’s the on-campus support system that impresses junior Mike Paradiso the most.

Professors have world-class research experience yet also deeply care about the success of individual students in class and on their upcoming actuarial exams, Paradiso said. And the undergraduate courses directly cover material that will be on those big exams, helping students prepare and pass.

That support system extends to student life, where Paradiso is a leader with the Actuarial Club, which is part of the Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) student insurance organization.

“You’ll make friends who are going through exactly what you are, and who will be there to support you while you go through your exams,” said Paradiso, who is from Park Ridge.

Illinois State’s actuarial science program in the Department of Mathematics is one of only 26 that have been recognized as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries. Only 16 are in the U.S.

Learn more about Mike and the actuarial science program in the video above.

Adam Rahn can be reached at