Applying to college is a process that engages every ND student and their families. This process begins in ninth grade, when students are encouraged to do their best in the college preparatory curriculum at Notre Dame. Sophomores continue to devote themselves to their studies, hone their interests in extra-curricular activities, take their first AP course, and take the PSAT for the second time.
As first-semester juniors, students are selected for AP classes and they take the PSAT, which enters them in the National Merit Scholarship Program. They also take the Career Interest Inventory which helps them find appropriate college majors and career options. Second semester, students sign-up for the Sat I and II tests. They create personal resumes that highlight their scholarship, enrichment programs, and volunteer and work experiences. Individual visits with the school counselors help the students select a college major and prepare a list of several colleges to which the student plans to apply.
First-semester senior year is the time for students to apply to colleges. Selective colleges visit Notre Dame to recruit our seniors and actually interview them at ND. Favorite college visitors from over forty schools include representatives from: Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon, College of the Holy Cross, Fordham University, Lehigh University, Marist College, University of Scranton, University of Notre Dame, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Essay writing is a strength of Notre Dame students that is well used as they write and edit personal essays throughout their academic careers. Resumes are polished and applications are mailed before Christmas break. During the second semester, we await the mail and celebrate the positive responses from some of the nation’s top colleges and universities. We are are always impressed with our students’ accomplishments as we post scholarship awards that match the seniors’ hopes and dreams. Year after year, 100% of our graduates are accepted into four year colleges and universities. Usually, over 90% win college academic scholarships.
All students receive a detailed College Process Handbook. Students meet with their counselor in the spring of their junior year and the fall of their senior year.
LEARNING ABOUT COLLEGES:
During junior year, group counseling classes are focused on teaching students what to look for in a college. Students use the school’s computer lab and they have time to take virtual tours on individual college websites. Special planning sessions with their counselors help them to become familiar with ten to twenty colleges. Visits to the Counseling Center Group Room allow students to use hundreds of college viewbooks and college catalogs. By the end of junior year, students have selected colleges that fit into one of three categories: reach, target, and likely. Over the summer, students hit the road and begin to visit their college choices and start the interview process.
STANDARDIZED EXAMINATIONS: The Major Types of College Admissions Tests
PSAT/NMSQT: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Test
SAT II: Scholastic Achievement Test (Subject Tests)
ACT: American College Testing Program
AP: Advanced Placement Tests