Notre Dame Waitlist Acceptance Rate: Stats and Tips

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Notre Dame

Notre Dame Waitlist Acceptance Rate: Stats and Tips

Being on the University of Notre Dame’s waitlist can stir a rollercoaster of emotions. You’re probably eager to know how often waitlisted applicants actually get in. Notre Dame sets the bar high, with a rigorous selection process. Just last year, the Notre Dame overall waitlist acceptance rate dipped to a challenging 15%, highlighting the school’s demand among applicants.

So, knowing where you stand on the waitlist is important. We’ll shed light on Notre Dame’s waitlist acceptance rate, offering the freshest stats and valuable tips to help you turn that waitlist spot into an acceptance.

What Is Notre Dame’s Waitlist Acceptance Rate?

The most recent figures show that Notre Dame’s waitlist acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 stands at 5%. This number is key to gauging your odds of admission.

View of the University of Notre Dame

Over the last five years, the acceptance rates for waitlisted applicants at Notre Dame have varied significantly:


Students Waitlisted Students Confirmed on Waitlist Students Accepted Waitlist Acceptance Rate

Class of 2023

1600 1028 108 10.5%

Class of 2024

1778 1253 530 42.3%
Class of 2025 Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed


Class of 2026 Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed


Class of 2027 2784 1811 90


The waitlist acceptance rate shows a sharp decrease for the Class of 2027 compared to the Class of 2024. This change might be due to shifts in admission strategies or the pool of applicants each year.

While the data for two years are officially undisclosed, the average acceptance rate from the years available points to a tough competition. With rates hovering around 19%, securing a spot off the waitlist is challenging.

Even with some ups and downs, the acceptance rates for the Notre Dame waitlist have been slowly declining on average. So, getting off the waitlist is tough. It’s important to have a solid Plan B and explore other options. You need a well-thought-out backup plan.

What Does It Mean to Be on Notre Dame’s Waitlist?

Being on the waitlist means Notre Dame is considering you for admission if a spot becomes available. It’s a backup plan for the university, ensuring they maintain a full incoming class.

Notre Dame also uses the waitlist to manage its class size effectively. The Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate reflects how competitive the process is, highlighting the university’s selective nature.

How Does Notre Dame Approach Its Waitlist?

Notre Dame approaches its waitlist with a proactive strategy. They reassess the pool of waitlisted applicants as spots open up, focusing on maintaining a diverse and talented class.

The university communicates with waitlisted students, offering updates on their status. This process can vary from year to year, depending on the needs of the university and the makeup of the admitted class.

Does Notre Dame Rank Students on Their Waitlist?

Notre Dame does not rank students on their waitlist. Admission decisions from the waitlist are made based on the university’s needs for the incoming class, such as academic interests, extracurricular strengths, and diversity goals.

This means that being on the waitlist is not a simple matter of waiting for your number to come up. Instead, decisions are made thoughtfully, considering the composition of the admitted class and the characteristics of waitlisted applicants.

Is It Impressive to Get Waitlisted by Notre Dame?

Getting waitlisted by Notre Dame is indeed an impressive achievement. It means you were considered competitive among a pool of thousands of applicants.

While not an outright acceptance, being on the waitlist indicates that Notre Dame saw potential in your application. It’s a sign that you meet many of the university’s rigorous academic and extracurricular standards.

However, being waitlisted also means you should explore other options. It’s wise to consider acceptances from other institutions while holding onto hope for Notre Dame.

Why You Might Have Been Waitlisted by Notre Dame

Being waitlisted by Notre Dame can result from a combination of institutional needs and specific aspects of your application:

Two students talking on a table.

1. Institutional enrollment goals

Notre Dame sets specific enrollment targets each year. This goal shapes the waitlist acceptance rate by determining how many waitlisted applicants get accepted to hit these numbers.

This strategy helps maintain ideal class sizes, guaranteeing that every student has the support and resources necessary to excel. It’s a fine balance, but it directly influences your odds if you find yourself on the waitlist.

2. Class composition objectives

Diversity is a cornerstone of Notre Dame’s admission strategy. The university strives for a class rich in different backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

If you’re on the waitlist and offer something distinct—maybe an underrepresented perspective or a rare talent—you might see your admission chances rise. This focus on creating a diverse and engaging learning environment is a strategic element that can sway the waitlist acceptance rate.

3. Academic qualifications

Notre Dame is serious about maintaining its high academic standards. If you’re on the waitlist, your academic achievements are scrutinized once more to ensure they align with the university’s strict criteria.

This commitment to academic excellence influences who gets off the waitlist, as Notre Dame prioritizes applicants with standout scholastic records. This approach highlights the competitive nature of the process, emphasizing the importance of strong academic performance for those hoping to secure a spot.

4. Extracurricular activities

Extracurriculars are a big deal in Notre Dame’s admission decisions, waitlist included. The university is on the lookout for students who have demonstrated leadership, commitment, and enthusiasm in their activities beyond the classroom. These qualities suggest you could bring something special to campus life.

A robust extracurricular profile can really boost your chances of moving from the waitlist to an acceptance. Notre Dame is keen on bringing in students who offer diverse skills and viewpoints, enhancing the university’s dynamic extracurricular scene. This emphasis means that contributing to campus life in meaningful ways is just as important as academic success.

5. Personal statement and letters of recommendation

Your personal statement and recommendation letters are key to showing who you are beyond grades. These pieces let Notre Dame’s admissions team get a full picture of you—your character, ambitions, and what you’ve accomplished.

A standout personal statement and solid letters of recommendation can make a real difference. They’re your chance to stand out among waitlisted applicants, highlighting why you’re a perfect match for Notre Dame. This more personal side of your application significantly affects your chances of moving from the waitlist to the accepted list.

How to Get Accepted into Notre Dame if You’re on the Waitlist

If you find yourself on Notre Dame’s waitlist, there are strategic steps you can take to improve your chances of acceptance:

a student writing on her notebook and looking at the camera

1. Respond to the waitlist offer promptly and affirm your interest.

Responding quickly to the waitlist offer is your first step in demonstrating interest. Notre Dame, like many institutions, appreciates promptness. This shows you’re serious about attending.

Affirming your interest lets Notre Dame know they’re your top choice. This can be crucial, as universities prefer admitting students who are likely to enroll. It’s a strategic move in the competitive admissions process, reflecting on the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate.

By acting swiftly and asserting your eagerness to attend, you signal to Notre Dame your commitment. This could give you an edge in the selection process, especially in a pool where many are vying for a limited number of spots.

2. Update Notre Dame with any new achievements or grades.

Updating Notre Dame with any new achievements or improved grades is your chance to stand out. This information can tip the scales in your favor, showcasing your continuous effort and growth.

Significant achievements or grade improvements provide solid evidence of your capabilities and work ethic. They make a compelling case for your acceptance, emphasizing your potential contribution to the Notre Dame community.

These updates are particularly important as they offer a fresh perspective on your application. They can impact the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate by highlighting your ongoing accomplishments and dedication to academic excellence.

3. Submit a letter of continued interest.

Submitting a letter of continued interest is an opportunity to reinforce your commitment to Notre Dame. It allows you to articulate why the university is your top choice and how you envision contributing to the campus community.

In your letter, be specific about why Notre Dame is the right fit for you. Mention programs, courses, or campus initiatives that excite you. This level of detail shows you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in what Notre Dame offers.

A well-crafted letter of continued interest can make a significant difference. It keeps you on the admissions team’s radar and can influence the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate, demonstrating your unwavering desire to be part of their community.

4. Request an additional letter of recommendation, if allowed.

Requesting an additional letter of recommendation can provide new insights into your character and abilities. If Notre Dame allows it, choose a recommender who can highlight aspects of your personality or achievements not previously covered.

A fresh perspective from a new letter can underscore your continued growth and potential. It shows the admissions committee you’re actively seeking ways to strengthen your application, reflecting positively on your determination.

This step could influence your standing on the waitlist, especially when the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate is considered. It’s about adding value to your application with meaningful insights that could sway the decision in your favor.

5. Engage with Notre Dame’s admissions office respectfully to show your enthusiasm.

Engaging with Notre Dame’s admissions office is a delicate balance. It’s important to communicate your enthusiasm without overwhelming them. Respectful and thoughtful interactions can leave a positive impression.

Ask informed questions or share meaningful updates about your achievements. This engagement shows your genuine interest in Notre Dame and your proactive approach to pursuing your educational goals.

Such engagement must be strategic, considering the competitive nature of admissions and the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate. It’s about demonstrating your fit and readiness to contribute to their community without being overbearing.

6. Prepare and consider your plan B options in case the waitlist does not turn into an acceptance.

Preparing and considering your plan B options is crucial. While staying optimistic about Notre Dame, having a solid backup plan ensures you’re set for college, no matter the outcome.

Exploring other acceptances or potential schools can alleviate the stress of the uncertain waitlist status. It allows you to stay in control of your future, ensuring you have a clear path forward.

This pragmatic approach does not reflect a lack of interest in Notre Dame but a wise strategy in navigating the complexities of college admissions, especially with the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate in mind. It’s about making informed decisions for your educational journey, ensuring you’re prepared for any outcome.

What Not to Do When You’re on the Notre Dame Waitlist

When you’re on the Notre Dame waitlist, it’s crucial to navigate your next steps carefully to maintain a positive impression:

a female student studying with her laptop and looking at the camera

1. Don’t bombard the admissions office with frequent communications.

Overdoing it with messages to the admissions office might backfire. It’s important to show Notre Dame you’re still interested, but too much contact can come off as overbearing. This strategy could unintentionally tarnish their view of you.

Pick your moments to reach out thoughtfully, focusing on meaningful updates or questions that highlight your eagerness for Notre Dame. This strategy shows you’re serious about attending and respectful of the admissions team’s time. It’s a fine line to walk but doing so can positively affect your image.

Keeping your communications respectful and well-timed shows you understand professional norms and are considerate of the admissions process’s competitive nature. It’s about making every interaction impactful, enhancing your chances without crossing any lines.

2. Avoid submitting unnecessary documents that weren’t requested.

Sending extra documents that Notre Dame didn’t ask for might not help your case. While it’s tempting to add more to your application in hopes of standing out, the admissions team has designed their requirements with purpose. Flooding them with extras can actually make it harder for them to evaluate your application.

Stick to what Notre Dame has requested, unless you’ve got significant new achievements or relevant updates. This approach not only shows you can follow directions but also that you respect the admissions process. It signals that you’re ready to follow university protocols.

By adhering to the requested materials, you allow the admissions team to review your application fairly and efficiently. This respect for their time and process, especially in the context of the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate, can help distinguish you positively.

3. Don’t express frustration or negativity about being waitlisted.

Letting frustration or negativity slip into your updates can send the wrong message. It’s natural to feel let down by a waitlist decision, but showing negativity might hint at a lack of resilience or positivity—traits that Notre Dame and other universities prize.

Lean into a hopeful and proactive stance instead. This not only reflects maturity but also your ability to navigate tough spots with grace. Notre Dame values students who bring a positive vibe to their campus.

Maintaining an upbeat tone in your messages underscores your genuine interest in Notre Dame and signals that you’re ready to become a part of their community when the opportunity arises. Remember, the Notre Dame waitlist acceptance rate is influenced by a mix of factors outside your control, and keeping a positive attitude can make a memorable impact on the admissions team.

4. Avoid making assumptions about your chances of acceptance.

Jumping to conclusions about your chances from the waitlist can lead you astray. Guessing how likely you are to be accepted might push you towards decisions or messages that don’t really help your case. Each year is different at Notre Dame, with a variety of factors affecting who moves up from the waitlist.

Keeping a level head and staying informed helps you set realistic expectations. It’s smart to stay optimistic but also to prepare for any outcome. This approach shows you’re flexible and ready for whatever comes next—qualities Notre Dame appreciates.

Recognizing the complexity and unpredictability of the waitlist process enables you to make thoughtful decisions moving forward. By managing the situation calmly and keeping your options wide open, you demonstrate your ability to handle uncertainty—a valuable skill for your college years and beyond.


Getting through the Notre Dame waitlist period is really about patience and resilience. Being waitlisted is your chance to demonstrate your ongoing interest and strengths. Keep a positive attitude, stay active in the process, and be ready for whatever result comes your way.

University of Notre Dame

Remember, this experience is more of a stepping stone than a setback. Whether you end up moving off the waitlist or taking a different route altogether, the perseverance and poise you exhibit now will benefit you down the line.

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