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1,150 applicants admitted early to ND

Rohan Anand | Thursday, January 24, 2008

In mid-December, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions completed evaluating more than 4,288 applications submitted by prospective students worldwide for seats in the Class of 2012. Of those, approximately 1,150, or 35 percent of the applicant pool, were offered early admission to the University and have until May 1 to accept or decline the offer.

The average SAT score was a 1452 on a 1,600-point scale and the average ACT score was a 33 on a 36 point scale. The average class ranking was within the top three percent of the students’ graduating class, making the academic selection criteria competitive.

“We did finish unbelievably strong with [early action admissions] and it tailed off so that with regular action admissions, we will finish slightly down from last year’s all-time high,” Dan Saracino, assistant provost for Undergraduate Admissions said, adding that overall applications submitted for consideration is down three percent to 14,000 from last year’s total count of 14,500.

“In terms of numbers, though we are down, the total pool in academic and ethnic diversity will be greater than ever before,” he said. “And we’re excited about the opportunity that these changes present to us.”

A favored system

The University has long-endorsed a non-binding, non-restrictive Early Action program which allows applicants to submit an application for consideration on Nov. 1, an earlier date than the Dec. 31 regular admission deadline that the majority of applicants choose to meet.

Under the Early Action program, candidates are notified by mid-December of an admissions decision of either admit, defer or deny. Deferred applicants have their files re-evaluated in the regular decision admissions process and are notified along with the regular decision applicants at the end of March. Students denied under any admission program may not reapply within the same academic year.

Notre Dame’s Early Action is unique from other schools in that it is designed to give prospective applicants a clear admissions decision in time for the student to have many options to make the right college selection. Saracino said high school counselors have always “praised” the admissions procedure the University offers.

Prospective high school students also favor this component of the admissions process at Notre Dame because it helps them prepare well for the havoc of college applications in general. Henry Hodes, an early-action admit from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo., said Notre Dame’s early admissions process made applying to colleges, “a lot easier.”

“The college admissions process is so crazy and complex, and we are always being advertised with e-mails and notifications,” he said. “Notre Dame is very clear on when to apply even when it’s [your] number one choice, the online application is very friendly and easier to use.”

Hodes also said he liked the non-binding nature of Early Action, which allowed him to consider his acceptances at peer institutions such as Boston College and Georgetown just in case he felt his needs could be satisfied at those universities.

“Still, I’ve known that Notre Dame has always been my number one choice,” he said. “While [those schools] have much to offer, I have realized that Notre Dame fits my needs the best; academically, socially, and spiritually.”

Reaching out

The University is reaching out further than ever to prospective students in order to compile a diverse and talented class, Saracino said.

“We have undergraduates calling and e-mailing students, deans from various colleges contacting students, as well as setting up chat rooms and chat times for admissions and First Year of Studies representatives to give information about things like FYS and financial aid,” he said.

All admitted students and parents are invited to Open House programs, which will be held on Feb. 21, as well as April 10, 17 and 24.

In addition, select students will be invited to attend special programs to learn more about the University. One well-known program is the Spring Visitation Programs for ethnic minority students. There will be three offered this year from Feb. 21-24, April 3-6, and April 17-20.

Two Reilly Visitation Weekends will be held March 27-30 and April 10-13 for the most academically-talented students. There will also be one science and engineering program Feb. 7-8.

This year, however, admissions established a program that allows international students to explore the University to a greater degree. The program, known as the Hesburgh International Scholars program, was a recommendation of the Notre Dame Alumni Association’s International Committee last spring and will invite students from Latin America to visit campus.

“The program was created in honor of Father Hesburgh’s longtime commitment to the internationalization of Notre Dame,” said Ruben Medina, assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions. “It is a direct result of enhanced recruitment strategies and the establishment of scholarship funds by the international Alumni Clubs, and 20 students will be invited to visit Notre Dame, all expenses paid, to acquaint them with one another and with Notre Dame’s unique character.”

Medina said the University chose to offer the program only to the Latin American market this year due to the long-standing connection with Notre Dame and the nation’s Catholic identity. Once a more solid program is established, then it will be opened to other groups.

“The experience has been designed to bring in the most academically-qualified top international students,” Medina said. “Those invited will be the ‘cream of the crop’ and in the near future, we estimate to increase the number to near that of our very successful Reilly and Spring Visitation Weekends.”

The Hesburgh International Scholars Experience April 6-9 this year. Invitees will have an opportunity to experience being a Notre Dame student for two full academic days and will be hosted by current international students living on campus. They will also have the chance to meet with various members of the Notre Dame community directly involved with international students, development and recruitment efforts.

The admissions team feels strongly that the program will increase the yield of international admitted students. Also, it will help with the recognition of Notre Dame outside of the United States.

“In this day and age of globalization, it is imperative that we create world leaders that will make a positive impact when they return to their home countries,” Medina said. “One of the University’s admissions priorities is diversity, encompassing cultural, ethnic and socio-economic in order to provide our students with a rich and deeply-rooted Catholic experience. I can think of no better place to prepare these young men and women than the University of Notre Dame.”