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Message from the actuarial program director

Krzysztof Ostaszewski, Professor of Mathematics and Actuarial Program director teaching class.

Krzysztof Ostaszewski, Professor of Mathematics and Actuarial Program director teaching class.

The goal of this new newsletter is to update you on developments in the actuarial program at Illinois State University. We welcome every opportunity to connect with you.

The last academic year has been very eventful and quite successful.

  • Senior Kristen Marshall (president of Actuarial Club spring 2019) won the Curtis Huntington Memorial Scholarship from the Actuarial Foundation and the CAS Trust Scholarship. She will be officially recognized for the CAS Trust award at the Casualty Actuarial Society annual meeting in Las Vegas in November.
  • Senior Kelsie Klingenberg (president of the Actuarial Club in fall 2018) won honorable mention (comes with a money award) in the Actuary of the Future Scholarship competition from the Actuarial Foundation, and she was a Bone Scholar at Illinois State.
  • In May 2018, our master’s student from Ghana, Ama Ampadu-Kissi, graduated with a master’s degree, passing all preliminary SOA exams and completing the Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice in two years with us (yes, she arrived with no exams), in addition to graduating as an associate of the Society of Actuaries, attaining that credential in less than two years.
  • The winner of the 2018 Statistical Project Competition (renamed Predictive Analytics Competition effective 2019) was the team of Ampadu-Kissi and Isaac Owusu. Read more about the competition here.
  • Check out projects from the competition and other case studies and projects here.
  • The average starting salary for our students graduating spring 2018 was $67,642.67.
  • In February 2018, “Best’s Review” declared Illinois State one of the best four colleges for studying insurance in the United States.
  • In July 2018, Illinois State received the designation of a Global Insurance Center of Excellence. We have been a Society of Actuaries Center of Actuarial Excellence since 2009 and were among the first four universities in the world to receive the Casualty Actuarial Society University Award in 2016.

We work to manage our resources as efficiently as we can and have again decided to increase scholarships requirements. Note how demanding the program is now while the number of students who meet these criteria is only increasing:

  • GPA requirements for Illinois State students remain at 3.8 overall and 3.8 in the major.
  • Incoming freshmen for fall 2019 must have at least 3.8 high school GPA (unweighted, on a 0 to 4 scale) to be eligible for the scholarship, and their SAT scores requirements are: composite of 1430 or better; and mathematics sub-score of 750 or better.
  • To be eligible for the Actuarial Scholar status, students enrolled at Illinois State continue to be required to have at least an academic-year record, except for students whose single-semester record is their first semester in college, if the student was an Actuarial Scholar or Orlyn Edge Scholar during that semester.
  • Scholarship recipients must be members in good standing of the Actuarial Club, except for new students, who must become members in good standing during their first semester at Illinois State. Not signing up for membership or lapsed membership in the Actuarial Club will result in automatic disqualification of a student from consideration for Actuarial Scholar status in the subsequent semester.
  • Illinois State students must have at least one professional actuarial examination passed by the second semester of freshman standing; at least two professional actuarial examinations passed when they attain sophomore standing; at least three professional actuarial examinations passed when they attain junior standing, and at least four professional actuarial examinations passed when they attain senior standing.
  • Candidates for actuarial scholarships must be enrolled in the Katie School’s Certificate for Leadership and Business Acumen and must attain a specific number of points:
    • 10 points with freshman standing (only considered in the second semester at Illinois State since the record of scholarship at high school is considered during the first semester)
    • 40 points with sophomore standing
    • 70 points with junior standing
    • Complete the certificate with senior standing
    • Candidates for the scholarship with senior standing must have a record of a professional actuarial internship confirmed with academic credit through MAT 298.

Our students keep performing better and better. Our most recent cohorts graduated with 3.5 exams passed on the average and are getting good jobs. These achievements, however, increasingly put a stress on our resources.

“Our students keep performing better and better.”—Krzysztof Ostaszewski

Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State presents an opportunity to help our students and program continue to rise to new heights of excellence. Your tax-deductible gift could help pay for student exam fees, a benefit I hope you received when you studied with us. Please consider supporting our students by making a gift online at giving.IllinoisState.edu.

The program is very demanding, but our great students can do it all and in large numbers. We work hard to find financial support for them. We always welcome your questions and inquiries.

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