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Early admits visit campus

| Sunday, February 22, 2015

Some of Notre Dame’s early admission applicants arrived on campus Saturday as part of Notre Dame’s 13th Reilly Weekend, a visitation program for the top 1 percent of prospective students.

Junior Adam Farchone, who is part of the student planning committee for the event, said the weekend aims to show prospective students the character of Notre Dame. The weekend’s events — which included a stadium tour, a visit to the Center for the Homeless in South Bend and a group mass — gave participants a feel for everything the University has to offer, he said. Participants will be able to attend University classes today.

“Reilly, as it stands, is a visitation weekend for students in the top 1 percent of the application pool from Notre Dame,” he said. “But this year, it’s really been expanded to just beyond the top 1 percent academically.”

Although the program has not changed much over the years, Farchone said the criteria for accepted students has been more holistic this year than it has been in the past.

“While all the students that are attending Reilly will have stellar grade point averages, additionally there is an unprecedented focus [this year] on community engagement as well as extracurriculars in school,” he said. “… So while it’s still the top 1 percent of the application pool, it’s more of a holistic view of the applicants, whereas in previous years it had been almost entirely based on academic involvement.”

Freshman and committee member Rachel Warne said Reilly Weekend gives high school seniors, who are choosing between a handful of great schools, the opportunity to see Notre Dame as an attending student would.

“I think that [Reilly Weekend] is an experience of Notre Dame you wouldn’t get to have if you just come visit and go on a tour and kind of walk around campus,” she said. “It’s kind of like the full experience.

“You really get to see a lot more than you would get to experience if you came with your parents for one day as part of a bigger college tour. So, it’s nice because they get to have this deeper experience with Notre Dame, and they get to really understand what it’s all about, rather than kind of just the surface view.”

Although stadium construction for Campus Crossroads led to some adjustments in the weekend’s events, freshman and committee member Katharine Janes said the University was still able to show students all the best things it has to offer.

“It really makes you think about why is Notre Dame really spiritually active, why are athletics important, why are academics important and how can we showcase that to prospective students?” she said. “And also, I think that recruiting a student body that really values those things is important, so you’re recruiting students who will be reflective of that mission.”

Farchone said his experience at Reilly Weekend as a high school senior was what ultimately convinced him to attend Notre Dame.

“Reilly was really a chance to experience the tangible offerings of Notre Dame, and it was a great way to differentiate the University from other options that I was considering,” he said. “It really highlighted for me the community aspect of Notre Dame and the familial atmosphere, as well as the focus on the faith life and service.

“There was a moment on my Reilly [weekend] when I looked around and thought to myself, ‘These are the people that I want to spend the rest of my life with,’ and I couldn’t envision myself going to any other University besides Notre Dame. And that’s what we’re hoping to recreate for these students, to show them that in the face of a secular world, it’s not a disadvantage to have attended a Catholic university. In many ways it’s actually an advantage for your personal well-being and your holistic development.”

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