CM’s Guide to the University of Notre Dame

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The University of Notre Dame-South Bend, IN

Notre Dame’s Instagram

The Vibe

A Catholic Prep’s Dream

What it Feels Like to Go Here

The University of Notre Dame’s reputation includes excelling in all aspects of the college experience, and it’s not just being arrogant; it actually does. From academics to athletics to volunteering, Notre Dame doesn’t half-ass anything. In order to get into ND you need to display brains and a solid work ethic on your app, driving all students to succeed, even if it doesn’t seem like it looking at Feve on a Thursday night. Athletically, the football team’s in a league of its own—literally. They’re actually not in a conference. Not to mention the school’s small size allows every student to go to every home game if they want to… and trust me, you do. Even if you don’t like football, game day turns into the biggest party on campus. Beyond athletics, Notre Dame encapsulates the “work hard, play hard” idea. Greek life doesn’t exist at ND, but even without Delta Kappa Whatever-The-Hell students still know how to party, whether it be in the dorms or at Feve, Salsa’s or Finny’s. Most students leave with friends made in the unique dorm community that essentially replaces Greek life. 29 dorms spread across campus each practice their own traditions and reputations, which you’re randomly assigned to freshman year. If you take advantage of ND, you’ll have something better than “the college experience.” You’ll have the Fighting Irish experience. Thanks to networking and loyal alumni, being a part of the Fighting Irish means being part of a nation-wide community that exists long after you graduate.

Awesome Alumni

Naturally, a school with this kind of elite athletic program produces hundreds of athletes that go on to professional leagues, like superstar quarterback Joe Montana. Some other star alumni include the ever-so-classic TV personality Regis Philbin and the man who gives girls way too high expectations for dating, author Nicholas Sparks. Not to mention T-Swift’s own brother, Austin Swift, recently graduated from ND. Notre Dame also includes its fair share of politicians in its alumni ranks, like Condoleezza Rice. One legend, former President of the University Father Hesburgh, passed away in 2015 but left a legacy of giving back and fighting for civil rights that makes Notre Dame proud to have been his home.

Where We Hang

Notre Dame may not be located in the most exciting college town, but students still find things to do. Student into the nightlife scene can be found at Salsa’s on Wednesdays or Feve on Thursdays. Upperclassman tend to frequent other bars, like Finny’s, CJ’s or Brothers.  During football season, home game Saturdays are one huge party. Besides going out, various student organizations and dorms on campus put on enough events to keep students entertained. Some notable ones include Bookstore Basketball, the Keenan Revue, SUB concerts and Fisher Regatta, though honestly the list never ends. In terms of dining out, there’s really no need to at ND. Since most students stay on campus through their junior year, North and South Dining Hall become the most common place to eat, and most kids seem pretty satisfied with the buffet-style food service.“I’m thankful for the Panini presses at South Dining Hall,” said freshman chemistry major Bridget Maroney. The ongoing debate about which one dining hall is better will forever divide campus.


1. How much are students partying?

“I would say there are two pretty separate groups: people that got out and people that absolutely don’t go out. The big nights are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but also Wednesday for some people. People here tend to say ‘work hard play hard,’ so I would say it’s a party school if you want it to be.” –Lauren, sophomore

2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?

“Drinking and parietals are the two big things that people get in trouble for.”—Riley, sophomore

3. How much sex are students having?

“I get sexiled about twice each week, but I’m pretty sure they don’t make it past second base”—Tony, freshman

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4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?

“It’s usually a bit of culture shock probably being one of the top people at your school then being surrounded by all of the top people. You definitely might have a bit of an inferiority complex coming in. I think you just have to relax a little bit and be confident that you’ll find your way and accept that you’re not the best at everything right away.” –Lizzie, sophomore

5. Just how “Catholic” is Notre Dame really?

“You can make it as Catholic as you want it to be. You can see Catholic ideals and identity in the different aspects of campus, but you can be as involved as you want.” –Bridget Maroney, Chemistry, sophomore

Overall Experience

“I would say the biggest challenge is that everyone here is really smart, and you’re probably coming from your high school being one of the smartest people in your class, and here everyone was the smartest person in their class. It can be difficult when you’ve never gotten anything less than A’s before and feel like you’re sometime not good enough to be here, but because you got in you should know that you are.” –Shannon Kronenberger, finance, sophomore

“My favorite tradition at Notre Dame so far would probably the first football game and really just football season in general. It’s great to see the school spirit and how everyone comes together in one place to support Notre Dame.” –Lydia Costello, English, freshman

“Notre Dame’s special because of the community that extends not only on campus, but across the entire world. Once you’re a Domer, you’re forever a part of this elite network of such impressive and inspiring people, who will always support you because you went to school here.” –Jordan Ryan, political science, sophomore

“Going to Notre Dame has been a childhood dream of mine. I always loved ND, but the more I learned about, the more I realized how it truly was the best place for me to be. Notre Dame is a well-balanced school, and I liked the idea of the kind of lifestyle I would lead here and the kind of person I would be.” –Grace McCormick, accounting, freshman

Top 3 Majors

1. Finance

2. Pre-med (combination of Pre-health and Pre-Professional)

3. Economics

Popular Student Organizations

Student Union Board

SUB puts on many of the events that happen on campus, including the Fall and Spring concerts, the week-long spring celebration of “Antostal” and movie screenings every weekend. Since South Bend isn’t exactly a booming metropolis, SUB works hard to make sure everyone on campus has something to do. “The events we bring to campus enhance student life at Notre Dame by encouraging discussion, offering entertainment, providing a way to de-stress and most importantly, supplying a lot of free food.” said Rebekah Rumschlag, SUB Director of Operations.

The Observer

As the daily student newspaper at Notre Dame, The Observer keeps students informed on the goings-on of campus as well as having a staff of “Viewpoint” writers to incite some debate now and then.

Circle K

ND kids love to volunteer and Notre Dame loves to give them opportunities to do so. “Circle K’s three tenants are service, leadership and fellowship. The club is all about connecting to the community and developing relationships with fellow students, citizens in the community, Kiwanians, and so forth, while engaging in service and having fun,” said President of Circle K Amy Wang. Circle K gives students the chance to engage in volunteer work throughout the South Bend community and puts on successful projects every year, like the award-winning Aidan Project that creates blankets for cancer patients and Turning Over a New Leaf where ND students volunteer to rake yards for our South Bend residents.

Getting In

The University of Notre Dame is a competitive school. With an acceptance rate ranging between 20 and 25 percent, most people don’t get in, so it’s definitely not for the high-school slacker. The application itself isn’t any more difficult than other schools though. “As far as admissions go Notre Dame wasn’t too stressful compared to other colleges, but I applied early action to Notre Dame so I got to find out earlier, and it wasn’t binding so that was nice,” freshman Delaney Lenaghan said.

Academics make up the most important portion of applications, with the average SAT and ACT scores of the last incoming class ranging between 1400-1530 and 32-34 respectively. Year after year, Notre Dame admits many varsity athletes and legacies as well. Since alum often ooze with Fighting Irish pride, it’s not a surprise that their kids want to follow in their footsteps. Of course service experience, letters of recommendation and other achievements can enhance your application. You don’t have to have all this to get in, you do need a pretty impeccable application to compete.


Location: South Bend, Indiana

Tuition & Fees: $47,929

Room and Board: $13,846

Estimated Total Cost: $64,775

Undergrads Enrolled: 8,448

Grads Enrolled: 3,676

Total Enrolled: 12,124

Acceptance percentage: 19.8%

Percent Admitted who Enroll: 56%

Percentage of Male Students: 52%

Percentage of Female Students: 48%

Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 74%

Sophomore at my home under the Dome, AKA the University of Notre Dame. Love running, water skiing, writing and watching Christmas movies all year long. Dream date is Seth Cohen circa 2004.

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