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Would Jesus get into Notre Dame?

| Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Instead of asking “What would Jesus do?,” I think it’s time we ask the more important question: “Would Jesus be accepted into Notre Dame?”

To set the parameters for this (purely hypothetical) question: a modern-day Jesus in the United States, finishing up his state-provided education, eagerly fills out the Common Application with hopes of attending Notre Dame. 

First, there’s the most important aspect: Was Jesus smart enough? Did he have a 4.0? A stellar ACT or SAT score? It seems like Jesus was pretty booksmart, especially if that book was the Torah, and he no doubt had a way with words. I can’t imagine him taking a standardized test, but I think he could manage to grab a 33. So I say this with no great confidence or factual backing, but Jesus would have had the grades to get into Notre Dame. 

As far as extracurricular activities go, I can’t think of too many. Although, I assume he would be in the National Honor Society and he definitely had an active role in his religious community, a huge plus when applying to Notre Dame. 

By 18, Jesus hadn’t done anything too spectacular to write about for his Common App essay. He could write about his birth, but he didn’t have much of an active role in that, unlike his mom and dad who had to go through it all. He could write about the time he turned water into wine, but writing about the time you helped everyone at the wedding party get blitzed probably wouldn’t be a great way to get into college, let alone a religious college. He could definitely write about the Passover Festival when he ditched his parents to chop it up with the religious elders; I’m sure a Notre Dame admissions officer would eat that up.

Would Jesus be considered a legacy? Well, if you take into account the fact that the school is named after his mom, I’m sure you could count him as a legacy, and that would definitely help his chances of being accepted.

Could Jesus get an athletic scholarship? Probably not as a football player, but being able to walk on water might have earned him a spot on the swim team.

Most importantly, could Jesus afford to attend Notre Dame? I’m going to make a fair assessment and say no. No disrespect to Joseph, who did a great job of raising the son of God, but his job as a carpenter probably wasn’t quite bringing in the cash. With Notre Dame’s total cost of attendance hovering around $74,000 (and rising) it’s unlikely the holy family would’ve been able to afford to send their son to Notre Dame without calling ol’ Sallie Mae. It’s true the Office of Financial Aid could make a substantial award to alleviate the cost, or Jesus could apply for some community scholarships, but with all the added expenses here and there, I just don’t think it would be feasible. It should be asked though, would Notre Dame be willing to dip into its cherished $11 billion endowment to help the son of God attend?

When you look at his application, it’s not clear that Jesus would have been accepted to Notre Dame or even be able to afford to attend, but he may not even want to go to Notre Dame in the first place. I’m sure he’d find the school’s religious affiliation very attractive, but I can’t imagine him being too eager to roam through the parking lots during tailgate, I mean, football season. Maybe it’s more likely that Jesus would have applied to join the Holy Cross Seminary, finding it more in line with his lifestyle, or just foregone the college experience in favor of a trade school for carpentry.

Regardless, the new and arguably more important burning question on my mind is: What dorm would Jesus be in?

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Ryan Israel

Ryan is the Former Scene Editor (2020-2021). He is currently washed up. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryizzy.

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