University welcomes transfer students
Mary Steurer | Friday, August 17, 2018
While Notre Dame welcomes thousands of freshmen in the class of 2022, a number of incoming students will be entering the University this Fall as upperclassmen.
Erin Camilleri, the director of transfer enrollment, said this year the University is welcoming 173 transfer students out of 871 total applications. Of this year’s transfers, 66 are Gateway students who completed their freshman year at Holy Cross, she said.
Camilleri said students are selected to participate in the Gateway program by their admissions officers.
“Each year, our admissions team has students who they believe will be wonderful additions to the Notre Dame community but, for whatever reason, we’re not able to offer them admission in the first year class,” she said in an email.
Students in the Gateway program attend Holy Cross College as freshmen and are guaranteed transfer to Notre Dame the following year if they maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher. During their year at Holy Cross, Gateway students take classes at Notre Dame and have full access to its clubs and other on-campus activities.
Sophomore Ryan McNelis attended Holy Cross as a Gateway student last year and will be joining the Notre Dame class of 2021 this fall.
“I’m kind of the prototypical Notre Dame football dream kid. I grew up watching Rudy, my mom’s a Saint Mary’s grad,” he said. “So I always wanted to be at Notre Dame. Gateway gave me the chance to fulfill that.”
McNelis said both Holy Cross and Notre Dame were helpful in preparing students for transfer.
“I think pretty much the whole first year of Gateway is geared to make that transition as seamless as possible,” he said. “Freshman year, we have academic advisors at both Holy Cross and Notre Dame. Both sides do a great job of making sure your requirements are all in order.”
The chance to experience campus life at Notre Dame helped the transition as well, McNelis said.
“I think there’s nothing that eases [the transfer] more than being able to spend time on the campus you’re transferring to for an entire year beforehand,” he said.
Sophomore Jordan Felicia, who also transferred via the Gateway program, also said he valued the opportunity to use both institutions as a resource.
“It’s just really great to be able to be involved on both campuses,” he said. “I definitely encourage any future Gateway students to take full advantage.”
Sophomore Siena Gruler, another Gateway transfer, said she was grateful for the special sense of community she felt with other students in the program.
“We’re really close,” she said. “I know if I had gotten into Notre Dame as a first-year I wouldn’t have met the people that I met. I know I’ll be friends with them for the rest of my life.”
McNelis said he is excited to complete his transition to Notre Dame this fall.
“Honestly, I’m most looking forward to continuing everything I started last year,” he said. “I really feel like it is a natural progression, much more a continuation of something I’ve started than the start of something new.”
Sophomore Matthew Benson, who also completed the Gateway program, said he looks forward to helping future Gateway students in their transition to Notre Dame.
“I’m most excited to dive right into the Notre Dame culture. I’m also excited to give back and help these upcoming Gateways realize what an opportunity this actually is,” he said.
Lauren Donahue, program director for new student engagement, said this year’s Welcome Weekend hosts a number of events geared specifically towards transfer students, including a reception dinner with University President Fr. John Jenkins and “ND Traditions 101”, a talk that aims to brief transfers on Notre Dame traditions.
Donahue said the events were created to cater to the unique needs of transfer students and to help them integrate with the student body.
“It takes a lot of courage to leave behind the familiarity of another institution and transition to a new institution,” she said in an email. “My hope is that all new students feel welcomed and celebrated as valuable members of the Notre Dame community.”