What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Notre Dame

What’s Covered:


Notre Dame has become a household name thanks to its super-successful football program. Seven winners of the Heisman Trophy (an award given annually to the most outstanding player in college football) have played for the school, tied for the most of any college. But it’s not just on the field where Notre Dame excels—the university also has a reputation for academic excellence and is counted among the best Catholic-affiliated institutions in the nation. Thanks to nationwide notoriety and a prestigious reputation, Notre Dame attracts an enormous number of high-quality applicants, making admissions very competitive. 


Average Stats of Accepted Notre Dame Students


Notre Dame applicants typically have outstanding academic profiles. More than one in ten (91%) of students enrolled through the 2021-2022 admissions cycle graduated in the top 10% of their class. These students also scored exceptionally well on standardized tests—their middle 50% range on the SAT/ACT was 1410-1550/32-35.


Notre Dame is practicing test-optional admissions for both the 2023 and 2024 admissions cycles. This means that applicants can choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores as part of their application. That said, it’s typically considered a smart strategy to submit test scores that fall within the middle 50% range of enrolled students, especially if they are on the high end of the range. 


With a large pool of competitive applicants, great grades and strong test scores are likely not enough to secure admission into Notre Dame, although they should ensure your application is given consideration. Highly selective schools like Notre Dame use a tool known as the  Academic Index to determine whether a student is academically qualified for admission. Applicants who don’t meet Notre Dame’s academic benchmarks are at risk of getting rejected without their application receiving a comprehensive review.


Notre Dame Application Process


Dreaming of joining the Fighting Irish? Here’s what you need to know about Notre Dame’s application process.


Application Overview


Notre Dame accepts the Common Application and the Coalition Application. There is a $75 application fee, with fee waivers available based on financial need.  


Notre Dame offers two paths to admission: Restrictive Early Action and Regular Decision. Restrictive Early Action is non-binding, meaning that applicants who apply through it are not required to attend the university if accepted. However, Restrictive Early Action candidates are prohibited from applying to binding Early Decision programs at other colleges and universities. There are three possible outcomes for Restrictive Early Action applicants: they’re admitted, denied admission, or deferred to Regular Decision. 


Application Path 

Application Deadline

Restrictive Early Action 

November 1 

Regular Decision 

January 1


Restrictive Early Action candidates are at a slight admission advantage over Regular Decision applicants. The acceptance rate for those who apply through Restrictive Early Action is 17.29%, which is a tick higher than the university’s 15.06% overall acceptance rate.


Application Components


  • High School Transcript
  • Teacher Evaluation Letter
  • Counselor Evaluation (recommended, not required)
  • Writing Supplement
  • SAT/ACT Scores (optional)


Supplemental Essays: Notre Dame Applicants must complete two short essays as part of their application. The first essay is required of all applicants. For the second, applicants are asked to select and respond to one of a handful of prompts.


  • Required of All Applicants: Notre Dame is a Catholic university, founded by members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, with a mission to educate the hearts and minds of students. What excites you about attending Notre Dame? (200 words)


Applicants are required to respond to one of the following four prompts.


  • Prompt 1: People in the Notre Dame community come from many different places, backgrounds, and walks of life. How is where you’re from a part of who you are? (200 words)
  • Prompt 2: Tell us about a time when you advocated for something you believe in. (200 words)
  • Prompt 3: If you were given unlimited resources to help solve one problem in your community, what would it be and how would you accomplish it? (200 words)
  • Prompt 4: What is the greatest compliment you have ever been given? Why was it meaningful to you? (200 words)


Essays are an “important” factor in admissions decisions and an applicant’s best opportunity to show admissions officers the person behind the grades and test scores. CollegeVine’s article, How to Write the University of Notre Dame Supplemental Essays 2022-2023, provides valuable advice on how to strategically craft compelling, attention-grabbing, and influential essays. CollegeVine Essay Review is a valuable tool for students who’ve already composed their essays, with options for free feedback from peers or paid expert evaluation. 


Supplementary Materials: Students applying to particular programs (like music, art, and architecture) are encouraged to submit supplementary materials. Notre Dame doesn’t accept physical submissions—they must be submitted using SlideRoom. 


When Will You Hear Back?


Admissions decisions correspond to the applicant’s pathway—Restrictive Early Action candidates will receive notification in advance of Regular Decision candidates. 


Application Path 

Application Deadline

Restrictive Early Action 


Regular Decision

Late March 


Notre Dame Financial Aid


Financial aid plays a significant role in the lives of the majority of Notre Dame undergraduates—70% of undergraduates received some type of financial aid in 2021-2022. The sticker price for Notre Dame for 2022-2023 is $80,211 and students are cautioned that they should anticipate annual increases in expenses. 



Estimated Cost  

Tuition and Fees


Rooms and Meals


Books and Supplies 


Personal Expenses







Financial Aid Generosity


Notre Dame practices need-blind admissions and meets 100% demonstrated need—meaning the university doesn’t factor an applicant’s ability to pay into admissions decisions and will provide applicants with the financial assistance they require to attend the school. The median need-based scholarship awarded to incoming first-year students in 2022 was $55,100, and Notre Dame awarded $183 million overall in need-based scholarships to undergraduates in the 2021-2022 academic year. 


Notre Dame also offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional accomplishment, leadership, commitment to service, and intellectual promise. Competition for merit-based awards is intense, only about 3.5% to 4.5% of students receive merit aid. Additionally, there are more than 150 Alumni Club Scholarships—all applicants with demonstrated financial need are considered for these awards. 


Cost is just one aspect of the overall expense of college, another is how a school returns on a student’s investment in it. The website Payscale ranks Notre Dame 80 (out of 1,978 schools) on its list of best-value colleges. The average debt of Notre Dame graduates in 2022 was $21,362—a considerably smaller sum than the $25,921 national average


CollegeVine’s article, What Does it Really Cost to Attend Notre Dame?, is a great resource for students interested in learning more about the actual cost of attending Notre Dame.


How to Apply for Financial Aid


Financial aid applicants at Notre Dame are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Board’s CSS Profile. Financial aid deadlines are based on the application pathway. 


Financial Aid Application Path 

Financial Aid Application Deadline

Restrictive Early Action 

November 15

Regular Decision 

February 15


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


Admissions at highly ranked schools like Notre Dame are extremely competitive, however, the odds of admission vary from applicant to applicant. CollegeVine can provide valuable insight into your unique chances of getting accepted at Notre Dame. Our free chancing engine uses factors like academics, extracurriculars, and demographics to estimate your odds of acceptance at Notre Dame, along with hundreds of other colleges across the country. 


CollegeVine’s Notre Dame profile page has further information about becoming a Wolverine, including diversity stats, majors, and how long it should take to complete an application.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.