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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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What Does it Really Cost to Attend Notre Dame?

Rising college costs are a concern for many parents of college hopefuls. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of college students receiving financial aid reached 85% in 2016, and it continues to climb.


The rise in the number of students receiving financial aid is directly related to the rising costs of college education. According to CNN, the average family paid $56,840 for a four-year degree from a public institution in 2016 and  $104,400 for a four-year degree from a private university.


Even with a rough idea of how much the average family pays, it can be difficult to predict exactly how much you will pay when it comes time for your teen to attend college. This is because there are many factors at play. Some of these factors are specific to the college, and others are specific to your family. In this series, we break down the costs of attending specific colleges so that you’ll have a better idea of how much you might pay. To learn more about how much you can expect to pay to attend Notre Dame, keep reading.


Want to learn what University of Notre Dame will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering University of Notre Dame needs to know.


Why Are College Costs So Variable?


College costs are highly variable, making them a difficult equation to pin down. The amount that one family pays to attend a school is likely to vary from the amount that another family pays to attend the same school. That being said, when you learn more about the factors that affect college costs, you’ll be able to more accurately predict how much your family can expect to pay.


A primary factor in college costs is the college’s list price. This is basically the sticker price of a college, or the full cost that a student would be expected to pay without any financial assistance for tuition, room and board, and any fees the campus might charge like a library card fee. While this cost is usually all-inclusive, at some smaller state schools or schools with a large commuter population, it may not include certain costs like room and board. You should always ascertain exactly what the sticker price includes when you’re considering a college’s list price.


Because few students pay the total list price, a more helpful data point can be average net cost. Net cost is the actual amount that families typically pay out of pocket for a student to attend. Generally, net cost is impacted by three primary factors. These include federal, state, and local aid, institutional aid, and merit scholarships. It is difficult to predict in advance exactly how much aid and scholarship money your child can expect to receive, so predicting your family’s net cost can be equally difficult, but with some more school-specific information, you can get a better idea of what your costs are likely to be.


What is the List Price at Notre Dame?


For the 2016-2017 academic year, the list price at Notre Dame was $67,043. This includes tuition and room and board, and because it is a private school, this number is the same for both in-state and out-of state students.


Few students typically pay the total list price, though. Most receive some form of aid or scholarships. Students who can expect to pay the total list price are those whose families earn more than $175k per year and who are not in the top 30% of admitted students.

What Is the Net Cost of Attending Notre Dame?


As you will recall, net cost is dependent on three primary factors— federal, state, and local government aid, institutional financial aid, and merit scholarships. Because merit scholarships are difficult to anticipate and will vary significantly from one student to the next, we will look at net cost after financial aid only.


The average net cost of attending Notre Dame is $56,048. As was the case with the list price, the average net cost is the same for in-state and out-of state students.


For students not receiving financial aid, the average net cost was $65,956.


What Is the Cost Based on Income of Attending Notre Dame?


Financial aid varies depending on a family’s income, so it can be even more helpful to look at average net cost broken down by various income levels.


See the table below to learn more about average net cost to attend Notre Dame as determined by family income.


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $9,478
$30,001-$48,000 $10,141
$48,001-$75,000 $14,893
$75,001-$110,000 $23,099
$110,000+ $40,922

How Much Merit Aid is Typically Awarded at Notre Dame?


Merit aid is the third component affecting net cost, so it’s also helpful to look at how much merit aid students at Notre Dame typically receive. You should know, though, that merit aid varies significantly from one student to another so even the average is not necessarily indicative of how much your student will receive.


At Notre Dame, only 3.9% of students receive merit aid. This merit aid is generally a nominal amount, with the average student without financial aid receiving just $1087.


Of the more than 1000 schools we analyzed for this series, Notre Dame ranks 756th for merit aid generosity. Many of the more prestigious schools offer little to no merit aid, so this is fairly typical for a selective university like Notre Dame.


How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Notre Dame?


Due to the high costs associated with attending Notre Dame, it’s unsurprising that many students take out loans to help reduce their immediate costs. 72% of Notre Dame students take out some kind of loan to help fund their education. While this may seem like a lot, the average loan amount per undergraduate student is only $3,684.

Student Outcomes


College can often be thought of as an investment in your future. While the initial costs are often high, students who graduate with a four-year degree can expect to make tens of thousands more each year on average than an adult without a four-year degree.


For this reason, it can be helpful to look at student outcomes as a measure of your expected return on investment. At Notre Dame, 95% of students graduate within six years of starting a degree, and their average salary in ten years is $78,400.


Local Area Cost Considerations


Of course, even once you have paid for college, there will still be costs associated with living that will vary widely depending on where your student attends college. Perhaps your student will eventually live off campus. Even if he or she stays on campus, other cost of living concerns like groceries, transportation, and the local job market may be important.


Notre Dame is located in Notre Dame, Indiana, about 30 miles from where the Michigan and Indiana border meets Lake Michigan. It is primarily a college town but has some industry and due to the college, has become an economic center in northern Indiana and southern Michigan. The cost of living in Notre Dame is significantly lower than the US average with a cost of living index of 76.7.


Transportation and housing costs are the most significant in this gap, with the average house costing just half of that of the US average. A studio apartment in Notre Dame typically rents for about $560 per month, while a three-bedroom goes for about $1100.


Due to its nature as a college town, Notre Dame average salaries are also significantly lower than the national average. That being said, the job market there is good and job growth is expected to continue its upward trend. Minimum wage in Indiana increases to $10/hr in June 2019, and will increase again to $15/hr in 2021. The median hourly wage in Indiana is currently $16.63.


Other Ways to Help Fund a College Education


Financial aid and loans are only two ways to help fund a college education. Merit aid is something that you and your student can have a direct impact on both through achievements and simply knowing where to look.


One popular route to merit aid is the National Merit Scholarship Program. Through this program, all high school juniors who take the PSAT are eligible to earn scholarships to college by scoring well on the test. Those who achieve scores in the top percent become Semifinalists and work to complete an additional application. Some students also qualify for other awards or programs through the National Merit Scholarship Program, sponsored by specific colleges, non-profits or corporations. To learn more about the program, check out our post How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


There are many other scholarships out there that your teen might be eligible for, too. Learn more about some of these possibilities in these important CollegeVine posts:



Curious about your chances of acceptance to Notre Dame? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.