ATYP Information for Qualifying

Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) and ATYP

October 2019

If you think your child is gifted…

  • Academically talented students need accelerated, above-grade-level course content.
  • Our philosophy is rooted in the idea that intellectual development often outpaces social and physical development.
  • We should teach children according to intellectual capacity, not age or grade level.

ATYP Overview

  • Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP) was founded in 1981 with 22 students.
  • We have enrolled over 4000 students from 60 SW Michigan public and private schools.
  • ATYP is part of the Office of Pre-College Programming at Western Michigan University.
  • ATYP offers classes in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.


  • Advanced & Accelerated Instruction
  • Intellectual Challenge
  • Open Discourse & Debate
  • Like-Ability Peers
  • Study Skills
  • Self-Confidence
  • High School Credit

How does ATYP serve its students?

  • ATYP identifies and serves middle and high school high-ability students who need the challenge, are motivated to learn, and are capable of completing above-grade-level curriculum with fast paced instruction.
  • ATYP uses advanced high school and university level curriculum which culminates in Advanced Placement (AP) content and leads to student success in advanced classes.
  • Currently, ATYP has math and language arts programs that focus on advancement and acceleration in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.
  • Students begin the program in 7th or 8th grade and continue for two to four years.
  • ATYP follows the local public school calendar.
  • Parents are responsible for the transportation of their students to and from ATYP; some districts provide a bus.
  • For most students, the courses meet one day per week from 1:20 – 3:50 p.m. (AP classes meet two days per week).
  • Classes are offered Tuesday through Thursday in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.
  • These students tend to take a seminar/study hall period during the last hour of the school day for the rest of the week (if possible). They do ATYP homework there, as well as other schoolwork. They do not attend a class for that subject at the middle school.

How does ATYP work with local schools?

  • ATYP uses a collaborative model that partners with local schools and school districts, higher education institutions, foundations, and local philanthropists.
  • We sub-contract with local schools to provide rigorous and fast-paced academic instruction in math, language arts, and AP Computer Science.

Does it cost anything?

  • Tuition is paid for by public schools for their enrolled students.
  • Revenue from school districts pays for about 75% of ATYP’s costs.
  • The other 25% comes from WMU or CISD (office, classroom, library access) and from donations.
  • For students who are home-schooled or at private schools, the tuition is paid by the families.
  • We currently charge districts $400 per class per semester.
  • Families are responsible for $150 in enrollment/participation fees per year, per student. Portions of these fees are paid at enrollment and at the beginning of each semester. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

How does my child qualify?

  • Your presence here means you’ve taken the first step; we’ve identified your student’s potential based on standardized achievement test scores (90th percentile or better) or from teacher, parent, or counselor recommendations.
  • Register with Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search for the SAT test in December or March, or the ACT test in December or February.

Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS)

  • NUMATS is part of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
  • It seeks to serve gifted children and their families from Pre-K through grade 12.
  • Even if you’re not interested in ATYP, we highly recommend NUMATS as a low-cost assessment option.
  • More information at: (click on Register Now).
  • Deadlines are:
    • October 30 for the December 7 SAT  
    • November 6 for the December 14 ACT
    • January 8 for the February 8 ACT
    • February 5 for the March 14 SAT
    • Other dates for the SAT or ACT are available later in the year, but these are highly recommended.
  • NUMATS uses a three-step process
    • Step One: Identifying students using: state test scores, achievement test scores, past talent search participant, qualification for school gifted program, teacher and/or parent nomination
      • State Test Scores
        • A PL 4 (or advanced) level on the Michigan M-STEP test for 2017-18 is a qualifying score.
      • Characteristics of Nominated Students
        • Advanced aptitude in verbal or mathematical reasoning.
        • Consistent performance in the top 10% of their grade level on tests/assessments.
        • High performance in academically demanding course work in school.
        • Consistent demand for more challenging academic experiences.
    • Step Two: Administer above-grade-level tests
      • Definition: A test designed for older students taken by younger students.
      • Rationale: Above-grade-level tests have enough ceiling (difficult questions) to differentiate among students with advanced abilities.
    • Step Three: Access customized score report and targeted resources
      • NUMATS provides a detailed score report showing how your student compares to other gifted students.
      • NUMATS provides tailored recommendations useful for educational planning.
      • NUMATS provides access to a curated set of resources and educational opportunities appropriate for gifted students.

Which test should I take?

  • The ACT and the SAT are both concerned with high school material.
  • The ACT seems to be better for math oriented students while either test is good for the reading and writing oriented students.

Registering for NUMATS checklist:

  • Online registration is easy. Go to:
  • If this is your first time registering a student, click on “Get Started” and add your student's information. Otherwise, log in to your Toolbox account. When beginning an application for your student, click on “Register for Testing” and the “Grades 3 Through 9” button under your student's name.
  • Steps 1 and 2 ask for general information about the parent and the student and ask how the student qualified. If the student received a letter from us, then he or she has qualified by his or her state achievement test scores. Check all that apply.
  • Step 3 asks you to select the ACT or SAT (do not select PSAT), your student’s grade, and if he/she needs special exceptions.
  • Step 4 asks for you to pick your school from a list. After clicking on the button, enter your school’s city and state and then select search. A list will appear at the bottom of the screen; click on your school.
    • You also need to choose your test center and date. . The ACT is held at Coldwater High School (190440), Kalamazoo Christian High School (176820), Plainwell High School (188830), and WMU (020660) on February 8.
    • The SAT is held at Kalamazoo Central High School (23365), Plainwell High School (23153), and WMU (23369) on March 14. NUMATS students are separated from the older students at WMU.
    • Students do not always receive their first choice test center, so you may want to select an alternate site that is best for you. You do not need to include the essay portion of the test.
    • In order for us to receive your scores you must request that they be sent to us. Under additional score reports, add our ATYP school code:
      • For the ACT enter 6007
      • For the SAT enter 1944
  • Step 5 asks you to confirm your registration and if you qualify for financial aid. You must follow the steps provided by NUMATS under Financial Aid on their main webpage and upload a letter from the school, a Medicaid card, or your tax return.
  • Step 6 provides details for your review. Make changes if needed then be sure to click on “Finish and Pay” so that you can enter your credit card information (even if you qualify for financial aid, be sure to finish your application).

What to bring to the test

  • Have several non-mechanical pencils and a calculator with you.
  • Bring an ID with you. Choices are:
    • student ID or passport
    • print and bring the ACT or SAT Student Identification Form (found on our website and under the NUMATS Info tab of the NUMATS Toolbox)
  • Bring your test center admission ticket from the ACT or SAT testing agency.
  • Tests are long – bring a snack and water bottle.
  • Cell phones must be off and watches cannot beep. Leave the phone at home if necessary.

Preparing for the test

  • Read the booklet sent to you by SAT. ACT’s booklet, the NUMATS Student Guide, and other test preparation materials are available for download from the NUMATS Toolbox.
  • Take the practice exam found in the booklet/online for the test you are taking.
  • Get a good night’s sleep and have a good breakfast.
  • Arrive at the testing site on time: 7:45 am.
  • Special content prep classes are not recommended and do not help us determine the right placement.

Test Preview Seminar

  • Held on a weekend in November and January.
  • Kalamazoo and Battle Creek locations available. Cost: $30
    • Tips and content: General Overview / Math Overview / English Overview


  • Total cost is under $95, compared to a typical individual educational assessment at $500–$700 or more.
  • Financial Aid
    • NUMATS offers need-based financial aid for students who qualify for federally subsidized programs, and registrants request financial aid in the registration process.
    • A financial aid letter stating the student meets the eligibility criteria, written on school letterhead and signed by a school official, is required to complete the registration (Medicaid card or tax forms are other options).
    • It must be submitted to NUMATS and received by the regular registration deadline for the chosen test date. (Directions are available online at: under financial aid.)
    • 7th grade students who meet these same criteria can qualify for fee waivers through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Why pay the NUMATS fee?

  • ACT/SAT scores for younger students are confusing when viewed out of context.
  • NUMATS provides easy-to-understand material to help young students and parents interpret scores and plan educational needs for the future.
  • Direct online registration for the ACT/SAT is not available for young students not testing through NUMATS. Paper registration forms are hard to find.
  • Students continue to receive information from CTD throughout high school.

ATYP: How does my child qualify using the ACT? (Qualifying scores are subject to change)

  • To qualify for the language arts program, your English + reading scores must be > 46, with neither below 22.
  • To qualify for the math program, you need a math score > 20 and a combined math & reading score of at least 38 (22 if you have had algebra with a combined math & reading score of 40).

ATYP: How does my child qualify using the SAT? (Qualifying scores are subject to change)

  • To qualify for the language arts program, your Reading Test Score or your Writing Test Score must be at least 28, with neither below a 24.
  • To qualify for the math program, you need a math score > 540 (570 if you have had Algebra).

ATYP Timeline

  • Throughout late winter/early spring, ATYP collects scores from parents and NUMATS, and then mails letters both to students who qualify and to those who don’t by May 1. If you haven’t heard from us by this date, please contact our office.
  • ATYP hosts an informational session in May for qualifying students, explaining ATYP in detail and what is required of them should they register.
  • Registrations are due in May. Classes are put together over the summer. Classes begin in September.

Fall of 6/7th Grade

Invitation to Consider ATYP

October to December of 6/7th Grade

Sign Up for Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search

February to March of 6/7th Grade

Participation in Above-Grade-Level Testing

March to April of 6/7th Grade

Scores Received in ATYP Office

May of 6/7th Grade

Invitation to Qualifying Students to Attend Informational Meeting