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The Student News Site of Winter Park High School

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The Student News Site of Winter Park High School

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Notre Dame University Reps Visit the Media Center

Here’s anything you might’ve missed
Hayley Mendes, Notre Dame University representative. Taken on August 28th, 2023, by Chloe Santiago.

This Monday, August 28th, marked the first of many on-campus college visits to come for Winter Park High School students.  The meet-up consisted of around 20 people, a mix of seniors and juniors, and took place during 7th period.

Notre Dame University was founded in 1842 and is located in the city of Notre Dame, Indiana.  Its founder Edward Sorin laid the foundation for the university with the vision that students would become “forces of good”, as said by college rep Hayley Mendes, Notre Dame University’s Assistant Director.  Notre Dame University’s four most prolific schools are the College of Arts & Letters, the Mendoza College of Business, the College of Engineering, and their College of Science.  Two other notable and up-and-coming schools are the School of Architecture and the Keough School of Global Affairs.

Student life at Notre Dame is best characterized by its residential hall system.  Dorming students are randomly assigned halls and roommates.  Each individual hall also has its own personal mascot and special events that they host during the year.  Another major part of Notre Dame’s identity is its standing as a Catholic university–which is best seen in the chapels within every residential hall and the weekly mass held on campus (complete with free food for attendants).  Of course, students don’t have to be Catholic or even particularly religious in the least to take part in campus festivities.

Once the introduction to the university was complete, Winter Park students had plenty of questions for the representatives to answer, some of which are included below.

Q: Does Notre Dame offer study abroad programs?

A:  Notre Dame hosts over 50 study abroad programs across 30 countries, which 75% of students engage in.  Global Gateways, for example, sends students to ‘mini Notre Dame campuses’ in major cities around the world.


Q: What kind of scholarships does Notre Dame offer?

A: Notre Dame wants education to be affordable to all students admitted.  The majority of scholarships are need-based financial aid.  Something unique about Notre Dame University is its need-blind admission process–which ensures that students’ financial situations are not a factor in admissions decisions.  Notre Dame does offer 3% of its aid as merit-based scholarships, but applicants only need to apply to qualify.  Early decision rounds are usually considered more in this regard.


Q: What’s the transfer process like to get into Notre Dame?

A: Our university is actually part of a tri-campus with St. Mary’s College and Holy Cross College.  What’s known as the Gateway Program exists between Notre Dame and Holy Cross, where students can attend Holy Cross College for one year and get an automatic transfer to Notre Dame.


Q: What are Notre Dame’s SAT and GPA ranges?

A: There are six different review components for admissions–three academic and three non-academic.  The academic components are:

  1. Rigor of Curriculum – The difficulty of the classes you’re taking, such as IB, AP, or dual enrollment courses.
  2. Academic Performance – Your grades in the classes you take. Notre Dame doesn’t look at GPA range due to how varied the point system is across the country, so they focus on classroom performance.
  3. Test Scores – Notre Dame has switched to test-optional admission in recent years. However, the average range for accepted applicants tends to fall between 1460-1520 SAT and 34+ ACT scores.

The non-academic components are equally as important, and include:

  1. Activities – Anything you do inside or outside of the classroom. This can be anything from clubs and sports to individual responsibilities, such as being a caretaker for family or having a part-time job.  Notre Dame likes to see leadership or community-building activities especially.
  2. Letters of Recommendation – Notre Dame’s admissions requires at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher who’s had you in their class. More than one letter can be submitted, but students should focus on quality over quantity.
  3. Essays – College essays are the bane of many, but try to include something that isn’t anywhere else in your application. Your essay is how you as a person can connect to the admissions office, so above all be genuine.  Notre Dame specific essays are listed on their website.  When writing, you want to focus on both why you belong at Notre Dame and how you yourself would be a good fit for Notre Dame’s campus.


Q: What’s the application process like?

 A: There are three ways to apply to Notre Dame University.  Applicants can send in their transcripts and other important information through the Common Application, the Coalition for College Application, or the Questbridge Application (financial qualifications apply).


Q: What are the top three majors?

A: The three most popular majors are Biological Sciences, Mendoza Business programs, and the College of Sciences.  An average of 80% of Notre Dame students get accepted into medical school.  Global Affairs is Notre Dame’s newest major and is growing at a rapid pace.  After graduation, 96% of students go on to higher education, finding jobs, or performing public and community service.


Q: Is Notre Dame more politically Liberal or Conservative?

A: You get a lot of both sides on campus, which makes Notre Dame more moderate.  There are tons of student-led groups for political, religious, and LGBTQ+ identities.  Students from all over the country and even internationally attend Notre Dame, so there’s no shortage of ideas and opinions on campus.


Q: What’s Notre Dame’s acceptance rate?

A: Notre Dame’s acceptance rate is 12% this past year.  While that may seem like a scary number, it’s important to remember that Admissions looks at applicants not only as students but also as full persons.


A deeper dive into the details of Notre Dame University can be found at their official website,  Hayley Mendes, the representative speaker at this visit, can be reached at [email protected].  Further college visits can be viewed and signed up for at

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About the Contributor
Chloe Santiago
Chloe Santiago, Reporter
Chloe Santiago is a senior at Winter Park High School. She enjoys watching Major League Baseball, drawing, creative writing, and baking. At school, she likes learning about literature, poetry, and English.  She hopes to explore and interact with more of Winter Park High Schools students during her second year on the newspaper staff. Chloe can be reached at [email protected].  

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