University admits 3,507 students into class of 2024
Serena Zacharias | Monday, April 6, 2020
After receiving 21,270 applicants, Notre Dame’s admissions department invited 3,507 students to join the Notre Dame community in the 2019-2020 application round –– a 100-student increase from last year due to expected declines in yield because of the current pandemic, associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment Don Bishop said.
The University hopes to enroll 2,050 first-years for the class of 2024 and expects to admit as many as 50 to 150 students from the waitlist. Due to the global situation, Bishop said admissions expects to use the waitlist more than in past years, but they hope to establish the first-year class by the end of July.
“We think families are going to keep adjusting their own personal decisions throughout the summer,” Bishop said.
Forty-four percent of the class was admitted in the early action cycle while 56% was admitted in regular action. Students from all 50 states and 80 nations are represented, and the current class is 57% white students, 36.4% students of color and 6.6% international students.
Although 15.2% of admits are children of alumni, legacy students will likely compose 21% of the incoming class, as they have a higher yield percentage than the general class, Bishop said.
The University set goals to increase ROTC admits in the past few years, having admitted 125 this year in comparison to 94 last year and 65 in 2018.
“We’re really working hard with the ROTC units to find more qualified people that want to be of service to America right away in the military and we feel very good about that,” Bishop said.
While the University saw a 4% decline in overall applications, applicants among the most qualified groups in terms of GPA and standardized test scores were up 9%. However, Bishop said over the past decade Notre Dame has grown to consider test scores less in the admissions process.
“In my 43 years, I have never seen so many applications from students with very high test scores that did not provide the normal depth in their application, in class performance, as well as thoughtful and interesting submitted essays, personal statements –– even the activities,” Bishop said. “So I’m finding that there seem to be more people prepping for these tests, and that it’s getting more aligned with socioeconomic success.”
To combat this disadvantage, Notre Dame looks to increase its presence in high-achieving, lower income, middle income and first-generation college students communities by becoming more involved in community-based organizations like Cristo Rey, KIPP and QuestBridge –– which provide traditionally disadvantaged groups with access to elite colleges.
This year the University admitted 398 first-generation college students in comparison to 323 last year, along with 231 QuestBridge admits in comparison to 207 in 2019.
“The best predictor of success, in my opinion, is to see how much a student did with the resources they had,” Bishop said.
In creating the admitted class, the University purposefully looks for students who will make the most use of the Notre Dame experience in terms of scholarship and personal formation, which Bishop said aligns with the University’s commitment to the development of the mind, body and spirit.
“Our staff does an amazing job of making sure the students we are bringing into Notre Dame are more than just a number,” director of undergraduate admissions Christy Pratt said.
Pratt said the admissions committee looks for students with strong academic backgrounds in addition to those who match with the University’s mission of being a force for good.
“What’s most important for our review is one, are the students academically prepared for the rigors of Notre Dame? And are they involved in their communities? Are they leaders in their communities? Are they good citizens?” Pratt said.
The committee gains insight into students through their essays, comments from teachers and school counselors and their activities in order to evaluate the motivation that applicants have for success.
“We hope that the students who picked Notre Dame again are seeking wisdom more than accomplishment,” Bishop said, “They’re seeking to have a quality life, and to part of that life is going to be giving to others. I always like to say we’re looking for students who want to give more than they take.”
With the college admissions process coming to a close for the class of 2024, Bishop hopes the incoming first-year students can relax enough at Notre Dame to still be successful without feeling an intense amount of pressure.
“We are hopeful that this class now that they’re in, they will come to Notre Dame and balance their lives and be a little less stressed out about accomplishment,” Bishop said. “It’s time to develop themselves more in not just what it looks like they’ve accomplished but what they really want to do what do they really want to accomplish.”