Talking Points

The format of your presentation will depend upon your school. Some schools will allow you to have a classroom or a corner of the guidance office to give your presentation while others will prefer that you set up a table during the lunch period and have students ask questions when they pass between classes. If you give a more formal presentation, the Admissions Office encourages you to open the floor for questions and draw on your personal experiences at Notre Dame. Some Ambassadors have enjoyed bringing photos of SYR’s and football games to their presentations.
Many of the questions students will ask may not pertain to Notre Dame in particular, but rather focus on college life in general. This is fine, and these questions will be the easiest to answer because you can provide personal answers and anecdotes. Some questions may be more specific. Answer as best you can, but remember you are not expected to be an Admissions Office expert. Please always direct admissions questions to the area-counselor from our office. 
If you run out of information brochures, do not collect names and email addresses. Instead, direct students to visit where they can request additional information and be entered into our mailing list.
Below is a working outline of topics to cover during your presentation. Please feel free to add or omit any part depending on student interest.

First Year at Notre Dame

  • Core curriculum (Liberal Arts foundation with math and science focused on intended major)
  • University Seminar
  • Advising, tutoring opportunities, writing center
  • Work load
  • Process of selecting a major and moving into a college
  • Facts and figures
    99% of FYS students successfully complete first year
    98% retention rate (one of the highest in nation)
    95% graduate on time (3rd highest in nation)

Residential Life

  • Single-sex dorms
  • Chapels
  • Intramural sports
  • SYR’s and signature events
  • Source of identity and pride
  • Residential life policy that students live on campus for six semesters
  • Facts and figures
    31 dorms
    81% of undergraduates live on campus

Experiential Learning

  • Study abroad
    75% of students study abroad
    1 semester or 2, summer programs
    65+ programs across 26 countries
  • Service
    Center for Social Concerns
    Fall/Spring break seminars
    SSLP and ISSLP
  • Research
    Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement
    All majors, any interest, long term and short term projects


  • Give any tips that you received during the application process
  • Leave personal, specific questions to the Admissions Counselors
  • The level at which students challenged themselves within the context of their high school (rigorous courses in math, science, English, history, and a foreign language)
  • Indicators of success in the classroom (grades, GPA, and rank in class)
  • Standardized test scores
    • ACT (out of 36) or SAT (out of 1600)
    • Last year, middle 50% of enrolled students was 33-35 (ACT) and 1410-1540 (SAT)
    • Send us every score - both SAT and ACT are superscored
    • AP, IB, SAT Subject test—not required but students can send the scores if they would like
    • We now accept self-reported test scores
  • Extracurricular Activities (clubs, sports, volunteering, part-time jobs)
  • Essays and short answer questions
  • Letters of recommendation
    1 from teacher (jr/sr year in core subject) - required
    1 from counselor – not required, but standard practice

Financial Aid

  • Need-based and need-blind
  • ND is committed to fulfilling 100% of each family’s demonstrated financial need
  • Refer to figures in fin aid brochure
  • FAFSA and CSS Profile
  • Tax documents via IDOC
  • No separate application for merit-based scholarship