University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame Enrollment and Financial Aid Information

Located in Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit university that offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is the University of Notre Dame the School for You?

The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 by the Rev. Edward F. Sorin of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Located about 90 miles from Chicago, this independent Catholic university features undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with colleges for architecture, arts and letters, business, science, engineering and law. Undergraduate offerings include Arabic languages and literature, philosophy, economics, anthropology and biochemistry, among many others. The university's graduate school, established in 1918, offers more than 50 master's, doctoral and professional degree programs.


  • Ranked in the top 20 for national universities by U.S. News & World Report
  • The 4-year graduation rate for students beginning their degrees in 2005 was 90%, which was significantly higher than the national average of 40%
  • Student-faculty ratio is 11:1, which is lower than the 16:1 national average
  • Endowment grew nearly 20% between 2010 and 2011, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers


  • Total cost of attendance (including tuition and fees and room and board) was more than $15,000 above the national average for 2012-2013
  • The 2012 acceptance rate of 23% is over 41 percentage points lower than the national average of 65.5%

Rankings & School Analysis

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Notre Dame #17 among national schools in 2012. It also named Notre Dame a top 25 Best Value School and deemed its undergraduate accounting program #6 in the country. Additionally, the university's undergraduate business program was ranked as the nation's best by Businessweek in 2012.

Colleges and schools at the University of Notre Dame include the College of Arts and Letters, College of Science, Mendoza College of Business, School of Architecture, the Law School and the Graduate School. Popular majors include finance, political science, accounting and biology.

In addition to having a high graduation rate, the University of Notre Dame boasts an impressive rate of retention. According to figures from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 97% of full-time students who began their studies in 2010 returned to the school for their sophomore year.

These advantages do come at a substantial cost, though. As of the 2012-2013 academic year, students paid an estimated total cost of $54,905 to attend the University of Notre Dame, based on NCES figures. This was significantly higher than the $39,518 average total cost incurred by students at 4-year, private not-for-profit schools, as reported by College Board.

Getting In & Financial Aid

Admission to the University of Notre Dame is extremely competitive. According to the school's website, nearly half of applicants accepted are in the top 2% of their high school class. The University of Notre Dame uses the Common Application, a standardized college application form used by almost 400 schools. Prospective students are encouraged to apply online at the Common Application website. Students can also apply by completing and mailing a hard-copy application. Applications can be found at the university's website.

All online applications should be submitted no later than November 1 for early decision or December 31 for regular decision. The admissions committee evaluates applications based on applicants' test scores, academics and level of activity in their high school and local community. Transfer students must provide college and high school transcripts, SAT scores and a college official's report from the previous college attended. A recommendation letter from the college attended is also strongly recommended for transfer applicants.

The University of Notre Dame offers scholarships, grants, loans and work opportunities to assist students who demonstrate financial need. Programs are also available for families who don't qualify for financial aid but may be interested in education financing options, such as federal and student loan programs, monthly payment plans and student work programs. Students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if they qualify for federal, state or school aid.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2012-2013) December 31***
Admission Notification Date (2013-2014) April 10****
Application Fee (2012-2013) $75*
Acceptance Rate (2012) 23%*
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $ 42,971***
Average Financial Aid Package (2012-2013) $28,324***
Percent of Students with Need Met (2011) 80%****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 1%*

Life at Notre Dame

With a student population of 12,004, the University of Notre Dame is considered a medium-sized school. The university requires freshmen to live on campus, and a majority of students opt to remain in on-campus housing, which consists of 27 traditional single-sex residence halls, for subsequent years. Several meal plans are available to students, and the university features a variety of dining facilities, including Au Bon Pain, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, a 1950s-style cafe and Starbucks.

The University of Notre Dame features nearly 400 clubs and organizations that cater to students' academic, cultural, religious and service interests, among other areas. Students can choose to join one or more of the university's 30 club sports teams as well as its 57 intramural sports, ranging from baseball and volleyball to wiffle ball and broomball. Additionally, students can cheer on the Fighting Irish's 26 men's and women's varsity sports teams.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small city****
Student Population (2011) 8,452 undergraduate students, 3,552 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 54% to 46%*
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 100% undergraduates, 95% graduate*
% of In-State Students (2010) 6%*
% of International Students (2010) 4% *
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 97% for full-time students *
Campus Housing Available Yes**
% of Students Living on Campus 81%***
Number of LibrariesNine libraries and information centers**
Extracurricular Activities385 clubs and organizations***
NoteworthyDepartment of Physics houses nuclear accelerator completed in 2012; Compton Family Ice Arena for students and community opened in 2011*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **University of Notre Dame, ***U.S. News & World Report, ****College Board.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Admissions, 220 Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 46556
  • Phone: (574) 631-5000