Notre Dame Acceptance Rate: 15%

February 11, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Notre Dame Acceptance Rates: 15%

Shortcuts to sections offered for Notre Dame prospective students:

 Successful Applicant Profile

  • Demographics
  • Majors
  • SAT/ACT Scores

Entry Requirements

  • Tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Checklist of Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines

What Should You Expect?

  • Student life
  • Academics offered
  • Athletics offered
  • Notable alumni

Notre Dame Acceptance Rate – Important Information for Applicants

Don’t let Notre Dame’s inconspicuous location in the centre of the Midwest distract you from the excellent education this prestigious college has to offer. As a private research facility with a Catholic-focus, Notre Dame has earned a unique reputation and has established an esteemed image that has only been reinforced by decades of an excellent education.

Aerial view of the University of Notre Dame overlooking the Golden Dome atop the main building.

Founded in 1842, Notre Dame is located outside the town of South Bend, in northern Indiana. Despite its religious orientation, the university attracts students from all different backgrounds. In fact, more applicants come from outside the Midwest to attend the University of Notre Dame.

In 2019, of all students accepted, nearly half had graduated from public high schools, 19% from charter schools, and 34% from Catholic high schools.

Although Notre Dame hasn’t earned the coveted title of an Ivy League School, it holds its own as one of the most reputable and respected universities in the United States. In their rankings of the best colleges across the country, US News labeled the University of Notre Dame as the 15th best college to attend.

With successful names like Condoleezza Rice, Joe Montana, and Regis Philbin gracing the list of Notre Dame alumni, it’s clear why the university is so revered.

Even with all of these accolades, students will be happy to know that the school’s acceptance rate is fairly high when compared to Ivy League Schools that often have acceptance rates in the single digits.

Although it fluctuates slightly from year to year, Notre Dame’s acceptance rate is roughly 15% – meaning about 1 in 5 applicants get accepted. Although those odds might sound daunting, having a college admission specialist on your side can help.

AdmissionSight has earned a reputation for helping students get into some of the most esteemed universities in the country. We have the experience, tools, and resources needed to turn your application from a shot in the dark into a likely contender for acceptance.

With our help and guidance, you can start viewing the Notre Dame acceptance rate as a badge of honor rather than an insurmountable obstacle. In that spirit, we’ve put together this guide to give you a better idea of what you need to overcome the Notre Dame acceptance rate and gain admittance.

Successful Applicant Profile

The combination of a prestigious curriculum and an encouraging acceptance rate leads to a flood of eager applicants each year. In total, 22,200 high school graduates applied to be part of the 2023 graduating class at Notre Dame. In the end, 3,410 people were accepted. This year saw a rise of 9% of the total number of people who applied.

Notre Dame’s admission officers take a holistic approach to the admission process. This means all aspects of your application will be taken into consideration, including your course grades, standardized-test scores, extracurricular activities, work history, academic and personal interests – among others. In order to increase your chances of getting in, you should highlight your academic and personal achievements and earn excellent test scores.

Where are the applicants from?

With a rather mundane location in northern Indiana, you might be surprised to know that this university attracts applicants from not only across the United States but also from around the world. As an example, the Class of 2022 boasts students from 49 states, 66 nations, two US territories, and Washington D.C.

Within the US specifically, roughly a quarter of students are from the Northeast – making up the largest portion of the group.

Students from the Southwest and West make up 19%, and those from the Central Midwest make up the same amount. Interestingly, students from the Midwest only comprise 15% of applicants. The Southeast is the least represented with only 14%. In terms of cities, New York and Chicago are among the highest represented.

At Notre Dame, you’ll get a chance to interact and collaborate with some of the smartest minds in the world. According to CollegeFactual, the school was home to nearly 1,500 international students in 2018.

China, India, and South Korea were the countries with the biggest on-campus communities. Notre Dame suggests that about 11.4% of their overall student body are international students.

Demographically speaking, 52% of the university’s students are male and 48% are female. 15% of the students are first-generation college students, recipients of PELL, or from low-income families (those that make under $60,000/year). 80% of Notre Dame students are Catholic, and 22% are children of alumni from Notre Dame.

What are the more common programs?

The sheer range of program offerings makes it hard to pindown Notre Dame as a unidimensional college. With 75 different degree programs, it’s clear why students tend to venture into their own fields of interest.

Some of the most popular majors include Mechanical Engineering, Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Political Science – a further illustration of the range of programs that Notre Dame offers.

The school’s wide range of majors is divided into seven undergraduate programs: Preprofessional Training, College of Science, Keough School of Global Affairs, College of Engineering, Mendoza College of Business, College of Arts and Letters, and the School of Architecture. Whether you want to focus your education on Medieval Studies, International Economics, or anything in between, there’s a good chance Notre Dame offers it.

What is the average SAT/ACT score of admitted students?

Although the Notre Dame acceptance rate is higher than many Ivy League Schools, it’s still highly selective when compared to the standard state college. Admission officers are looking for the best of the best and, as a result, students need to aim for high GPAs and excellent SAT/ACT scores.

Even if you have lower grades than most applicants, you can still make up for it by scoring high on the SAT and/or ACT tests. After all, these exams are specifically designed to give both students and admission officers a better idea of how applicants will perform in college.

Notre Dame Average SAT Score of Admitted Students

Overall average score: 1445

75th percentile score: 1540

If you score below the average SAT score, using the SAT on your application will work against you.

Notre Dame Average ACT Score of Admitted Students

Overall average score: 34

75th percentile score: 35

If you score below the average ACT score, using the ACT on your application will work against you.

Notre Dame has very high requirements when it comes to admission test scores. In general, the school only accepts those that score within the top 4%.

This usually translates to students who maintained an average “A-” in high school. As a result, many of the students who end up getting accepted into Notre Dame graduated in the top tier of their class.

The average high school GPA of accepted students to Notre Dame is 3.91. 90% of applicants who end up getting admitted are in the top 10% of their class, and 98% are within the top 25% of their graduating high school class. Taking weighted courses, such as AP or honors classes, can greatly increase your chances of getting in.

Entry Requirements

Notre Dame is an elite university and the entry requirements certainly solidify that reputation. With an undergraduate enrollment that hovers between 8,000 and 9,000 each year, Notre Dame is considered a mid-size university.

Despite its competitiveness, the average graduate from this college has a starting salary of $81,000/year – underscoring the advantages of attending this great school.

Three smiling students with books and backpacks looking at camera.

Whether you gain admittance to Notre Dame or get rejected doesn’t only depend on your grades and test scores, although these play a major role in the decision that admission officers make and considering the Notre Dame acceptance rates.

In addition, the difficulty of your coursework, the types of extracurricular in which you participated, letters of recommendation, and personal statements, among others, are factored into the ultimate decision. Before you dive into the application process, it’s important to take a look at the overall cost of the school and what kinds of financial assistance are available.

How much will it cost to attend?

The University of Notre Dame has multiple different programs and each comes with unique costs. However, the average cost of attendance can be quantified with decent accuracy for students and parents to get a better idea of what it takes to attend the university.

Average Cost of Attendance for 2020-2021

Tuition & Fees $57,699
Room & Meals $15,984
Books & Supplies $1,250
Personal Expenses $1,200
Transportation $750
Total $76,883

Bear in mind that Notre Dame offers significant tuition assistance for students who struggle to cover these costs. The various grants, scholarships, and aid that’s offered can make this education quite affordable for those willing to put in the effort.

What financial aid opportunities are available?

Notre Dame encourages students from all financial and family backgrounds to apply. Although the tuition rates are high, the school makes an effort to make it possible for any student with the right academic prowess to attend.

Students from various socioeconomic backgrounds graduate and get accepted each year. Notre Dame offers several forms of financial aid that can include books, personal expenses, on-campus housing, tuition, and other expenses.

To give you a better idea of what the financial aid landscape looks like, around 56% of students – well over half – receive some sort of financial assistance.

Grants and scholarships comprise the largest portion of this financial aid. Although students from all different socioeconomic standings can receive financial assistance, Notre Dame does determine the amount of aid a student receives based on their parents’ or guardians’ yearly earnings – a common practice for universities throughout the country.

What are the application requirements for Notre Dame?

Notre Dame accepts three different applications from first-year applicants. You can send in the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or the Questbridge Application if you wish to attend.

Once students have submitted one of these applications electronically, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other additional documents can still be submitted to finish the application.

In order for your application to be reviewed and considered, you must have the following items sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions before the admission deadline:

  • Standard application submitted via the Coalition Application or Common Application site
  • Completed Notre Dame supplemental essays submitted via the Coalition Application or Common Application
  • Results from your SAT and/or SAT assessment scores
  • High school transcripts or a record of achievement in secondary school
  • Letters of evaluation from a former teacher in a central academic subject
  • Counselor evaluation (not required but highly recommended)
  • An application fee of $75

International students applying to Notre Dame are encouraged to visit the university’s International Admission page for additional information.

AdmissionSight recommends double, triple, and even quadruple checking your application to make sure everything is filled out properly before hitting that submit button.

What are the timelines for Notre Dame applications?

Notre Dame offers a program of Restrictive Early Action through which eager students can apply by November 1st. However, those who choose this application avenue can’t apply to other universities with an Early Decision program that’s binding.

These students aren’t indicating a preference for first-choice by applying early. They can still wait to indicate their final decision of attendance until May 1st. Applying through Restrictive Early Action can earn a student early admittance, denial, or deferral to the Regular Decision process.

Applications sent through the Regular Decision process must be sent in by January 1st. Students can expect a decision by the end of March.

If accepted, you’ll be required to send in a deposit and confirmation card by May 1st. Students who are turned away but still wish to attend Notre Dame are encouraged to attend another respected university for a few years before transferring to the university.

What To Expect

Notre Dame is a spacious mid-sized university near the small college town of South Bend, Indiana. Students can expect a lively atmosphere with a strong focus on community cohesiveness, collaboration, and cooperation. With the spirit of the Fighting Irish as the school’s mascot, sports are a central theme of the university.

Football games attract tens of thousands of sports fans from across the campus, state, and country. This love of sports spills over into extracurricular life where many students participate in intramural sports. The extracurricular activity doesn’t stop there, however. Clubs and other organizations give the student life at Notre Dame a liveliness that is second to none.

Campus scenery at the University of Notre Dame with the school building and plants in view.

What do students think of life at Notre Dame?

The vast majority of students seem to have a positive experience at the University of Notre Dame, and the freshman retention rate of 98% (one of the highest in the country) certainly backs this up. Here’s a review from a Notre Dame freshman:

“Love the community aspect of this school! The administration is very inclusive and hosts a wide range of types of events–even those outside of the Catholic religion. The academics are very challenging but provide for skills such as critical thinking, time management, and being able to collaborate with others.” – Anonymous Notre Dame Freshman 2020

A group of students happily chatting while studying at the school cafeteria.

What academics are offered?

The academic atmosphere at Notre Dame is one of the school’s major highlights. With one of the highest student-to-faculty ratios in the state at 10:1, the university offers an intimate and personable teaching style.

In fact, 61.9% of the classes have more than 20 students. Even with this focus on personal education, students can still choose from a wide variety of majors. In total, Notre Dame provides 72 different undergraduate degrees that are concentrated into 57 distinct majors under 21 fields of study.

 What athletic options are available?

As mentioned before, Notre Dame has one of the richest intramural sports cultures in the entire country. Whether you’re interested in flag football, rock climbing, rollerblading, or anything in between, you’ll be able to find an associated team or club. Those that are interested in competing on a professional level will be happy to know that Notre Dame has some of the best collegiate sports teams in the country.

Group of students roller rollerblading in the setting sun.

Who are some famous Notre Dame alumni?

Rudy Ruettiger – An author and motivational speaker whose life story inspired the movie Rudy.

Condoleezza Rice – She served as the Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009.

Joe Montana – A Hall-of-Famer quarterback who played in the NFL.

Regis Philbin – The famous host of Live with Regis and Kelly and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Are you eager to get into Notre Dame?

Notre Dame might be among the most esteemed universities in the country, but it’s not impossible to get into. In fact, AdmissionSight is confident that we can help you perfect your application to greatly increase your chances of gaining admittance. We’ve gained a reputation for being college admission experts based on our track record of helping students get into some of the best schools. If you’re interested in learning more about what we have to offer, feel free to contact us.








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