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Notre Dame accepts 1,540 early admits for class of 2024

| Thursday, January 23, 2020

Notre Dame released admissions decisions to students around the world who applied Restrictive Early Action (REA) to the University on Dec. 13. While 7,295 students applied early, 1,540 were admitted — an admissions rate of approximately 21%.

Cristina Interiano | The Observer

Eight more students were admitted to this year than last year, Don Bishop, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment, said. 24 more students applied last year than this year. Bishop said these numbers represent “less than a 1% decline, so it’s about the same applicant pool” as 2018.

Bishop explained Restrictive Early Action is labeled restrictive because students who apply REA cannot apply Early Decision to another school, meaning they would have to attend the other institution should they be accepted.

“You’re already declared that school is your top pick, and if you get in you don’t even get to consider any offer that we make you here,” he said. “And I felt when we made this change five, six years ago, that Notre Dame should feel that it is a first-choice school and act like it — and if a student’s heart is set at another school, let them apply there, but I don’t think we want to afford them the luxury of throwing away by requirement a Notre Dame offer of admission. I think we have more pride in ourselves and we should, and I think the country respects that and we expect that.”

Bishop said the University has increased their number of QuestBridge scholars accepted from 42 in 2018 to 65 this year. QuestBridge, a program which allows high-achieving students who demonstrate high financial need, matches students with colleges according to preferences from both universities and applicants, and provides a full four-year scholarship for students accepted. This puts the University in the top eight in the nation for QuestBridge matches, Bishop said. 

“These are high-need students by definition,” he said. “They can’t be a QuestBridge applicant without qualifying by the QuestBridge process to verify that they’re high-need. [They are] disadvantaged in that usually a lot of them are first-gen students, so they don’t come from the normal, high-powered backgrounds that produce a lot of our top students.” 

The diversity among REA applicants to the class of 2024 has also increased, Bishop said. 135 first-generation college students were admitted, as compared to 116 to the class of 2023 — which accounts for a 14% increase. In addition, 34% of the REA admits were students of color or international students. The class is also geographically diverse, as 48 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and 50 different citizenships outside the United States are represented in this year’s cohort of early admits.

Bishop said he believes the increase in QuestBridge scholars and first-generation college students in the class of 2024 will increase diversity at the University. 

“These are students who have outperformed their environments by large margin,” he said. “They’re very exciting. They are high-achieving, high-ability students and the fact that Notre Dame is getting involved with getting more of them to apply is very encouraging. I think it will benefit all the students, but most importantly we want it to benefit them.”

Last year, Notre Dame had a 67% yield rate, or the percentage of admitted students who choose to attend Notre Dame, for students admitted early, and an overall yield rate of 58.4%, Bishop said. Additionally, 44% of all admitted students were from the early action pool in 2018, Bishop said.

“Schools often get asked, ‘Are you concerned that you’re consuming too many offers early, leaving not enough spots later?’” he said. “Well, actually 56% of all the spots we offered, we offered in regular last year, and I think this year will be similar.”

In addition to those accepted, 933 students — approximately 13% of the applicant pool — were deferred this year. However, Bishop said that 211 students who were deferred in 2018 were accepted in the regular decision round.

“Being deferred, there really is still a chance,” Bishop said. 

Bishop said it is important for students who are deferred to continue to demonstrate interest in Notre Dame and to update their application with new information and accomplishments. 

“When students are deferred, it is a setback, and how they react to that setback is always interesting,” he said. “We’re always trying to see, how do students do not when everything is going perfectly for them, but … with some adversity, how do they respond? What sort of grit and determination do they have?”

Bishop said in addition to grades and academic performance, the Office of Admissions looks for students who understand the value of a Notre Dame education. 

“How do they convey to us that they understand Notre Dame is different?” he asked. “And does that difference matter to them? … We’re looking for mission match. Do they get the value of an undergraduate-focused education that Notre Dame does? Do they get the value of doing research? Do they get the value of being a more active entrepreneur and social engineer of service and servant leadership? Do they seem to convey those things successfully in their application that this is the difference of Notre Dame?”

Judging from the REA applications, this year will present an extremely competitive admissions pool for consideration, Bishop said. 

“Our students inspire us. I am extremely impressed with the quality of our applicants,” Bishop said. “I do believe it will be another year of being somewhat more selective than last year. … I think this will actually be a very similar year to last year, but somewhat harder to get in — and there’s more diversity in the pool and a little bit more of top, top talent in the pool.”

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About Claire Rafford

Claire is a junior from Tempe, Arizona who is majoring in English and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy and Business-Economics. She peaked when her team won the Battle of the Books state championship in 2011.

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