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University welcomes transfer students

| Friday, August 21, 2015

Transferring to Notre Dame was something of a no-brainer for incoming sophomore Marissa Koscielski, who had grown up Granger, Indiana, only 20 minutes away from campus.

“For as long as I can remember, I have gotten butterflies in my stomach when I stepped onto campus,” Koscielski said.

When Koscielski wasn’t offered admission to Notre Dame her senior year of high school, she knew her attempts to become part of the University family were far from finished. She, like many other students, decided to apply to transfer in the fall semester of her sophomore year.

According to Erin Camilleri, associate director of Undergraduate Admissions, 25 percent of the 640 students who applied to transfer to Notre Dame this past year were admitted. One hundred and twenty-nine have enrolled, resulting in a 79 percent yield rate, with students from across the country and around the world.

Fifty-six percent of incoming transfers are male and 44 percent are female, and most transfer students ranked within the top 10 percent of their high school class, Camilleri said.

“I’m always impressed with the students who choose to transfer to Notre Dame,” Camilleri said. “So many bring a passion and enthusiasm for all that Notre Dame offers, and they take full advantage of their time here, including study abroad, research, internships, as well as countless clubs and organizations.  Their paths may vary, but they all lead to the same place, home to ND.”

Koscielski transferred into the University through the Gateway Program, a program in which students enroll at Holy Cross College for their freshman year and are guaranteed admission into Notre Dame for their sophomore year as long as they maintain a 3.5 grade point average. While at Holy Cross, Gateway students take some classes at Notre Dame as well as participate in clubs, research and various activities, easing their transition to full-time Notre Dame students.

“The Gateway program is a really exciting program because all of the students have all the benefits of a four-year Notre Dame experience,” Koscielski said.

Nicholas Pittman took part in the Gateway Program alongside Koscielski.

“I transferred because that was the plan from the beginning,” Pittman said. “I had wanted to attend Notre Dame for quite some time, and after not being pulled off of the wait list my senior year, I knew this program would be the best way to do so. Spending a great deal of time on campus and across the street freshman year only solidified that desire.”

Gateway students were chosen from his or her undergraduate applications to the University, eliminating any need for additional applications their freshman year at Holy Cross.

“I cannot find words to accurately articulate my excitement for this coming year,” Koscielski said. “I am very grateful for all of the connections, experiences and opportunities I have gained over this past year, and I am excited for all of the ones that are to come.”

Patrick Tinsley, who transferred into Notre Dame as a rising sophomore and graduate of the Gateway Program, now serves as a co-commissioner of Transfer Welcome Weekend.

“I thought the process of transferring to ND was rather seamless,” Tinsley said. “The transfer leaders were exemplary when it came to representing the ND spirit.

“We were sorted into families — groups of six to eight transfers with two ‘transfer parents,’ whom had both transferred previously. This grouping made for instant friends.”

Tinsley plans to use his past experiences assimilating into Notre Dame to help incoming transfers have an easier transition.

“Transfers are sometimes put in a delicate situation,” Tinsley said. “For some, it took time to take pride in being a transfer. However, after the first weeks, we realized we are just like any other student. We are beyond determined to make up for lost time and frequently best our friends in terms of school spirit, energy, and excitement.”

Koscielski echoed Tinsley’s sentiment.

“Essentially, I know that I am called to Notre Dame,” she said. “When I was given the opportunity to study here, I understood that it was a grand opportunity to study four years at a wonderful university.”

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About Andrea Vale

Andrea Vale is a freshman at Notre Dame who has previously written for both the Sun Chronicle and the Huffington Post. She plans to major in English with a Creative Writing concentration and a minor in Journalism.

Contact Andrea