ND Live Webinar - January 2017

To watch a recording of our ND Live Webinar, in which we discuss the particulars of each program and answer viewer questions, click here.

General Program Questions
Course Selection
Test Scores
Application Prep
Study Abroad


General Program Questions

Is this for high school students looking at the college or for students already applied into Notre Dame?
Our programs are for rising high school juniors and seniors who have not yet applied for undergraduate admission.

As a current sophomore, what programs are open to me this upcoming summer? 
The Summer Scholars program is open to current sophomores and juniors. 

What are the application/acceptance rates for Leadership Seminars? 
While each year varies in terms of applications, generally about 1 in 8 students are admitted to Leadership Seminars.

What are the application/acceptance rates for Summer Scholars? 
While each year varies in terms of applications, generally about 4 in 10 students are admitted to Summer Scholars.

Would you recommend also applying for a Summer Scholars program in addition to a Leadership Seminars an alternative in case I am not accepted in the Leadership Seminar? 
Yes! Since we can only accept 100 students out of a much larger and well-qualified pool of applications, we highly recommend that those considering the Leadership Seminars program also apply to Summer Scholars.

Are equal numbers of males and females accepted into the programs? 
While we aim for diversity in all of our programs, we do not have a fixed number for males and females to be accepted. We simply accept the most qualified applicants for each program.

If I am accepted to both the Leadership Seminars and Summer Scholars programs, can I decide to go to Summer Scholars instead? 
Yes, if you are accepted to both programs, please confirm which program you would like to attend (or both, if that is the case) as soon as possible so that we know if we may notify a student on the waitlist of an available spot. Acceptance to the Leadership Seminars program does not guarantee admission to the Summer Scholars program.

If you have participated in a Summer Scholars track previously, can you apply for a different track the next year?​ 
Yes, absolutely! We encourage students to explore different areas of interest in order to cultivate a broad and diverse knowledge base as they head into college, and to get the most out of the program both times they attend.

My son's first college choice is Notre Dame. Do students who are accepted into any Pre-College program have a greater chance of being accepted into Notre Dame when they apply as a Freshman? 
Participation in a pre-college program, like any extra-curricular or leadership activity, enriches a college application. While participation in a Notre Dame Pre-College program is noted during the application review process, we cannot guarantee that it will increase chances of admission to the University.

I am 15 and a junior. So do I have to wait to do any of these programs till next year? 
If you have a special circumstance regarding age and grade level eligibility, please contact our office directly via email (precoll@nd.edu) or phone (574 631 0990).

What are the due dates for the programs?      
Leadership Seminars – January 30, 2017
Study Abroad: Rome –  January 30, 2017
Study Abroad: Ireland – January 30, 2017
Summer Scholars – February 6, 2017

In what program do you feel a high school student would truly feel a part of the Notre Dame community? 
While all three of our programs offer students a taste of the Notre Dame experience, our two on-campus programs (Summer Scholars & Leadership Seminars) would probably be the best programs for a student who wants to immerse themselves in the Notre Dame community and experience the residential life of a Notre Dame student.

Is summer scholars the only one that offers a college credit?
All four of our programs offer one college credit upon completion.

What if for some reason I don't end up attending Notre Dame as an undergrad, is that college credit transferable?​ 
Yes! How the credit is applied will vary by institution, but generally it should be transferable.

If it is my first time applying, which program do you believe is the best to apply to? 
If you are a current sophomore (rising junior), you are eligible for Summer Scholars. If you are a current junior (rising senior), it depends on your interests! All three programs have unique features and differences. Check out our website for more information!

Can I withdraw my application if for some reason I find out that I cannot attend the program?
Yes – If you need to withdraw your application after it has been submitted, please contact our office so that we can perform the withdrawal. Email: precoll@nd.edu Phone: (574) 631 0990

Do you send only decision letters or do you send emails with the decisions as well?
We are aiming to send out our decisions electronically this year. 

Do you have many students from out of state attend the programs?
We have students from all over the world! We try to aim for a diverse and interesting cohort, and we organize roommate assignments such that you will be living with a student from another state. 

Does being in the Midwest affect me negatively or positively?
While we do aim for a healthy amount of geographic diversity in each program's cohort, we have plenty of students each year who are from the midwest, and even from the northern Indiana area. Geographic location does not make or break your chances of being accepted.

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Is there a minimum GPA, SAT/ACT score, or number of AP courses for acceptance into the pre-college programs?
GPA is an important consideration for admission to one of our programs. We accept weighted or unweighted GPAs and are aware that high schools calculate GPA differently. While we prefer high grades in any of the courses you take, we do tend to look more favorably at students who are taking rigorous coursework and are achieving decent grades than students who are taking regular courses and achieving high grades.

There are no minimum GPA requirements because, again, GPAs are calculated differently from high school to high school. Leadership Seminars applicants should be academically exceptional. Summer Scholars is also competitive, so strong grades are obviously encouraged.

Class Rank is not calculated at all high schools, so while we do take it into consideration, we do not penalize those who do not have one. If a school does calculate class rank, it will vary based on the size of the class. We require a school profile in the application process and will use this document to educate us about how your school looks at ranking.

Course offerings also vary from high school to high school. Some will offer more honors and AP than others. Some offer IB and some do not. Some offer dual credit courses and some do not. We take all of this into consideration when reviewing each application.

I attend a small school with a class size that means only 2 or 3 students are in the top 5% of our class. How strict is the rule about being in the top of the class? 
We understand that in small schools, particularly small schools with very competitive academics and many strong students, class rank may not have the same meaning as it does in larger schools. Because we review school profiles, we take into consideration school size and rigor in interpreting students' academic standing.

Do you want weighted or unweighted GPAs?
We request that your high school counselor provide us with both weighted and unweighted GPAs when available.

What if my school doesn't have class ranking? 
If a school does not rank, no rank is required, and we consider other factors in determining your academic standing.

I'm a sophomore looking into ND and am ranked third. As sophomores we are only offered some honors classes. Will that prohibit me from competing against applicants who take more?  The honors classes are the only ones offered without dropping down a class. 
When reviewing an application, we also examine your school profile to note how many AP classes are offered to you. If you'd like to make sure we are aware of your specific situation, feel free to make a note in the "Additional Comments" section of your application.

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Are there scholarships available for any of these programs? 
Financial aid is available and is need-based only. A Financial Aid Fee Waiver Request is required in order to be considered. It can be found on our website here. Scholarship amounts vary, depending on the student's financial need. We do not offer any other financialassistance. If you need assistance with tuition and do not qualify for financial aid, we encourage to talk with your high school, community organization, or church and see if there is any assistance available through them. You can also raise your own funds by reaching out to family and friends and asking for donations.

The ​Leadership Seminars program, including all tuition, room and board, and travel costs, is paid for by the University. The only costs required are the $50 application fee and $150 Enrollment Deposit. If you need assistance with these fees, please submit a Financial Aid Fee Waiver Request.

How much is the tuition for the Summer Scholars program?
Tuition for Summer Scholars is $3400. Some classes require lab fees, which are no more than $100-150.

How much financial aid is available for those in low-income situations?
All of our financial aid is need-based in nature. Application fee waivers are granted rarely and only in extreme circumstances. Very limited need-based, partial scholarships are available to students who apply. The Office of Pre-College Programs does not offer merit-based financial assistance or scholarships.

What are the total costs for each program, including application fee? 
Study Abroad: Rome program total cost is $6,750 + $75 application fee.
Summer Scholars program total cost is $3400 + $50 application fee.
Leadership Seminars (including travel to and from Notre Dame) is fully funded by the University, with the exception of the $50 application fee and $150 Enrollment Deposit. If financial issues are an obstacle, please fill out a Request for Need-Based Financial Assistance form by January 23, 2017.

What exactly does the Summer Scholars program cost include?
$3,400 includes: College credit, class materials (books etc.), activities (including transportation), excursions (including transportation), lodging in one of our resident halls and meals in our South Dining Hall.

For the Leadership Seminars, it says that all expenses are paid for including transportation to and from Notre Dame. Does this only pertain to transportation during the seminar, or does it include transportation for getting to the University for the program itself whether it be driving or flying?
This pertains to all aspects of the program, including transportation to and from the University. The only costs associated with the program are a $50 application fee and a $150 enrollment fee if selected for the program.

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Course Selection

For Summer Scholars, is there specific information about each of the options that we can look at in making our choice?
Yes! Please see descriptions of all of our courses at precollege.nd.edu/summer-scholars.

What are typically the most popular classes in the Summer Scholars program, according to past attendance? 
Our most popular courses are Global Health, Entrepreneurship, Life Sciences, and Psychology.

Is there a track that would be particularly useful for someone seeking a biochemistry major?
Our Life Sciences track is divided into two major areas of study, both of which will foster collaborative problem solving skills and biostatistical analysis skills. The latter of these areas is molecular genetics, which would be perfect for someone interested in biochemistry.

What is the closest track in the Summer Scholars program to civil engineering? 
For those interested in fields related to engineering, we recommend Research Computing. The School of Engineering also offers a separate engineering program for high school students. Additional information can be found on their website.

If I were interested in Physical Therapy, which category would be best suited for me in the Summer Scholars? Life Sciences, or Global Health? 
Either one of these courses would be fitting for your interests. Please review their respective descriptions before making your selection.

Do you offer a course for someone who is interested in graphic design? 
We highly recommend our Photography track for those interested in graphic design. In addition to learning valuable photography skills, students will also learn post-processing techniques and visual design concepts, all of which are highly relevant for careers in graphic design.

I am deciding between a health major and musical theatre major. Which program would be best for each major?
If you are interested in musical theatre we highly recommend our Unlocking Shakespeare Through Performance course. If you are interested in a health major, either the Life Sciences or Global Health tracks would be appropriate. Please review each course's description for more information.

For the Summer Scholars program, am I able to focus on a single area of study, or will I be forced to study areas that don't interest me? 
There are 20 Summer Scholars tracks available in diverse areas of interest, and each student will focus on a single track for the duration of the program. Students will have the opportunity to rank their top three choices on their application. We make every effort to admit students to their first choice, however, some courses are more competitive than others, requiring adjustments to be made.

Academically, which of the three programs is the hardest to be accepted into? With only 100 students accepted each year, Leadership Seminars is the most competitive program we offer. Accepted students are generally in the top 10% of their class, having pursued the most rigorous curriculum offered in their high schools. Leadership Seminars also requires applicants to provide standardized test scores.

Should students pick a course to study during these programs that is related to their major, or a different field of study that also interests them? 
The choice is yours! Some students choose to get a head start on their college major by gaining experience in that particular field, while others decide to seize the opportunity to study something totally different.



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Test Scores

How do I submit my test scores?
Students can upload copies or screenshots of their test score results to their application directly, and are also required to manually input the scores for each section of the test. If you are encountering difficulty, you may contact our office via email (precoll@nd.edu)

If I'm not taking the SAT until March, can I submit PSAT scores instead for Leadership Seminars? 
Applicants to the Leadership Seminars program must submit standardized test scores. We accept SAT, ACT, PLAN, or PSAT scores. The deadline to submit test scores is February 15, 2017 for the Study Abroad programs and February 28, 2017 for Leadership Seminars and Summer Scholars.

How much do standardized test scores weigh into the decision process? What if I have high grades, but not the highest test scores? 
Although strong academic performance in all areas is ideal, we strive to take a holistic approach to each application, and avoid reducing students to numbers on a page. We examine all of the myriad factors and qualities that make each student unique when determining admission to our programs.


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How are students grouped during these programs? How do they make friends? 
Students are placed in dorm arrangements with students from other areas of the country and other program tracks, in order to widen their circle during their time on campus. Outside of class, there are social activities like open mic nights and dances, and dorm Resident Counselors organize lots of dorm bonding activities and competitions.

In your programs, do students develop good relationships with one another?
Yes, absolutely! We have many students tell us years later that they are still friends with the students they met during their summer in our programs.

If I attend one of your programs, do I have to live in the dorms, or can I live off-campus?
All of our students are required to live in our residence halls under the supervision of our Resident Counselors. This includes local students. 

How does housing work for Summer Scholars and Leadership Seminars?
Students live in dorms (females in one dorm, males in another) for the duration of their program. They are assigned between 1 and 3 roommates at random (we do not accept roommate requests), though we do ensure that students room with someone from a different program track and different geographical area.

If accepted into the Summer Scholars program, would our schedules primarily be arranged based off our personal interests?
Our programs are scheduled to allow ample time for classes, study time, meals, free time, and organized events and activities. Students may choose to participate in community service opportunities, social events, and dorm activities and competitions.

What if a family emergency occurs? Are you able to miss a day and return?
Generally, students are required to attend and participate in the entirety of the program. We do not allow students to come late or leave early. However, should an emergency situation arise during the program, please contact us.

What kind of food is served at Notre Dame?
All kinds of food! Our incredibly diverse dining hall features dishes from numerous cultures, in addition to traditional college staples and vegetarian/vegan options.

If accepted to the Summer Scholars program, will the University provide a representative to meet the student in the airport?
Students flying or traveling by bus to the South Bend Regional Airport will be met by a representative and transported to campus. Students will be responsible for transportation from Chicago O'Hare or Midway airports to South Bend. We highly recommend the Coach USA shuttle, which leaves from Terminal 5 & the Shuttle Bus Center at O'Hare and from Arrival Level Door 3 at Midway.

Will there be classes every day or will there be Sundays off for Mass? 
There will be classes Monday-Friday, and scheduled activities on weekends (inclduing Sundays), but there will also be a Mass for the students in our programs on Sunday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

How long are classes held, like a regular school day length or only a couple of hours like a college class?
Classes generally take place each weekday from 9-4, with a break for lunch.

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Application Prep

Report cards for the fall semester just came out, but I already had my counselor submit my transcript and school profile. Can I still submit them somehow?
Yes! We require fall semester grades, and typically will contact school counselors who have not provided them as we get closer to the test date. Please have them send an updated transcript to precoll@nd.edu.

What advice can you give to help us make our essays stand out and bring them to perfection?
We always strongly recommend that students use spell check when writing their essays, and have a student, parent, or counselor proofread their essays and provide feedback to ensure that there are no glaring errors. In terms of content, we like to see essays that show genuine interest and enthusiasm, but also capture the unique personality of the student writing them. While professionalism is always encouraged, we don't need a cookie-cutter rundown of what you think we want to hear; we want to hear your story, in your voice. What makes you the person you are today, and what drives you in becoming the person you will go on to be? 

Does the teacher recommendation have to be from a specific subject?
No. We suggest that your recommendation be written by someone who knows you well and can attest to your personality, work ethic, and leadership qualities. 

Can I submit more than one teacher recommendation?

Is it possible to submit an additional letter of recommendation if we have a perfect recommender (instructor from a summer college course) who is not from our high school?
Yes, if the instructor has taught you in a high school or college course, they are certainly qualified and permitted to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Which part of the application plays the biggest role in acceptance to the Summer Scholars program? 
While strong academics are obviously favorable in any admissions process, many of our candidates boast the same high grades, so what really distinguishes students from one another is the essays.

Will there be a wait list after the decision letters go out?
Yes, we have a wait list. Wait list letters are sent out at the same time as all other decision letters, and will inform you how long the wait list will remain active.

In what format would you like to see a resume?
You can attach a resume in PDF or Word format, and we have no preference in terms of style or format within the resume itself.

Are different teacher recommendations required if you are applying to say the Leadership Seminar and Summer Scholars? 
No, you can have the same counselor or teacher use the same recommendation for both programs. 

I don't have a particular class that focuses on global leadership, but I started a group at my school which does focus on this. Would it be acceptable to have the teacher who acts as the advisor for this group write my recommendation even though they don't teach a class I take?
Yes, you may have the program advisor for a group or extracurricular activity write a letter of recommendation on your behalf, but please also submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher who has had you in class.

Is preference given to students who submit their application earlier? 
No – all applications are reviewed after their respective application deadline (not on a rolling basis).

Does an applicant's selection for his or her preferred course rankings affect the likelihood he or she would be selected to attend the Summer Scholar's Program?
Some Summer Scholars tracks are highly competitive, as we try to ensure that selected students are able to attend either their first or second choice track and certain tracks are more popular than others.

What activities are looked at outside of the classroom?
We look at all sorts of extra-curricular involvement, from clubs and sports to community service and hobbies. We want to get to know what makes you tick, so if it's important to you, feel free to include it on your application!

One of the essay prompts - describing our defining experiences to date - is the same for both Summer Scholars and Leadership Seminars. If I am applying for both, is it alright for me to use the same essay on both applications? Or should I make them unique?
Feel free to use the same answer on both applications if applying to both programs.

What is the best way to approach writing the essays for the Summer Scholars program? What experiences are you looking for?
We look to understand what makes you, you! We recommend being honest and demonstrating a healthy amount of self-reflection when composing your essays. Any experience that has defined you or changed your life in a big way would be suitable for an application essay.

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Study Abroad

What types of Study Abroad programs do you offer, and what are the fees?
Our Study Abroad: Rome program is a 12-day seminar in Rome, Italy that provides rising seniors with an immersive cultural and educational experience surrounded by some of the Eternal City's most revered treasures.  Our Study Abroad: Ireland program is a 12-day exploration of the Emerald Isle, including the history and culture of both bustling Dublin and bucolic Connemara.  The total cost of each program is $6750, plus $75 application fee.

Are there any language requirements for Study Abroad: Rome or Study Abroad: Ireland? 
There are no language requirements for our Study Abroad programs. However, maturity and sensitivity to cultural norms while traveling abroad are required. 

How much free time is allotted? Will an attending student be able to explore Rome or Ireland on their own at all? 
Free time for exploring, shopping, and relaxing is included in the schedule. Students will be accompanied by counselors throughout the duration of the program, so there will be no Lizzie McGuire Movie-esque escapades. 

If I don't already have a passport, is it too late to apply for a Study Abroad program? 
No, it is not too late. Passports can be expedited in as little as a few weeks for an extra fee, but we recommend starting the passport application process as soon as possible.

Do we need travelers insurance for Study Abroad?
Emergency medical travel insurance is provided for each student traveling abroad with the Pre-College Programs. Students may purchase additional travelers insurance at their own discretion.

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