Get your questions answered. 

Am I an international student? 

We typically have three categories of “international” students: non-U.S. citizens abroad, non-U.S. citizens living in the U.S., and U.S. citizens/permanent residents abroad. 

If I’m a permanent resident or hold U.S. citizenship, but live outside of the U.S., should I apply as a U.S. student or as an international student?

On the Common Application or Coalition Application, a student must list their country/countries of citizenship. Therefore, we’ll see that a student is a U.S. citizen on their application, but that they’re applying from abroad. We’ll take this into consideration when we evaluate the application, as we know there are cultural and social contexts. 

Is the admission process need-blind for international students?

We are need aware for international students, meaning that a student's ability to pay does affect the admissions decision. Every non-U.S. citizen is required to submit a Certification of Finances and supporting financial documents with their application.  

Is financial aid available for international students?

We offer need-based financial aid for international students, but it’s limited and competitive. To apply for financial aid, you must submit the Certification of Finances, as well as the CSS/Profile.

What GPA do I need to be competitive for admission?

There’s no minimum grade point average or class rank required, but know this: You’re up against the best and the brightest in the world. The more rigorous your course selection, the better your grades, and the higher your class rank, the more competitive your application will be.

What if my GPA is not on a 4.0 scale? Should I re-calculate my GPA so it is on a 4.0 scale?

We receive applications from over 100 different countries, so most international students do not have a GPA on a 4.0 scale. We evaluate applications within the context of an applicant’s environment, so we are used to seeing a variety of academic systems and grading scales. When you complete the application and when your counselor completes the school forms, simply list the grading scale that your school uses, and we will use that to evaluate your application.  

Are there any full scholarship offers?

There is not a maximum or minimum amount of need-based financial aid scholarships. However, the less you need to attend Notre Dame, the easier it is for us to meet your financial need. That is to say, it’s easier to award five scholarships to five different students, rather than one full scholarship to one student. Although we have full scholarships, those are given to students who truly need the entire cost to attend Notre Dame and stand out across the board in our application process.

How can I receive a financial aid scholarship?

When determining scholarships, the Admissions Committee evaluates your academic qualifications, extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendation, and financial need. The best way to earn a scholarship is to meet Notre Dame’s qualifications.

Are merit scholarships available for international students? 

All international students and U.S. citizens abroad will be considered for merit scholarships. Most scholarships don’t require a separate application for consideration.  

Is financial aid available for international transfer students?

We do not offer financial aid for international transfer students. 

I’m in the International Baccalaureate program. Does this help?

When we evaluate applications, we look at the rigor of your curriculum. We recognize the demands of the International Baccalaureate program. Being in the IB program assists in the application process, and in the transition to college life. Oftentimes, students are able to obtain credits for their IB classes. They also adapt quickly to the college curriculum, since they’re used to performing at a challenging level.

If I’m in the International Baccalaureate program, do I need to send my predicted IB scores?

We ask that students in the IB program send their predicted IB scores. 

If my school does not offer AP courses and does not have the IB curriculum, will I be at a disadvantage?

We evaluate applications within the context of your high school and cannot expect you to take classes that your school doesn’t offer. Instead, we look towards what is offered at your school and how you performed there. We have students from over 50 countries at Notre Dame, so we’re used to evaluating different types of curriculums. 

Can the application fee be waived?

Eligibility for the Common Application and Coalition Application Fee Waivers is based on financial need. Qualified applicants may use this payment method to satisfy the application fee requirement. Your counselor will receive notice of your intent to use the Fee Waiver, and will need to verify that you meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the Common Application or Coalition Application. Once eligibility is confirmed, the Common Application or Coalition Application process will bypass the payment step. 

Can I obtain a fee waiver for the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE?

We are not able to offer fee waivers for the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. If you have difficulties completing the CSS profile, please contact the Admissions Office at international@ND.edu.

Is the SAT or ACT mandatory, or can it be waived?

We require all students to take either the SAT or the ACT. We do not have a preference as to which standardized test you choose.  

Can the TOEFL be waived?

We will waive the TOEFL if:

  • An applicant scores 600 or above on the Critical Reading section of the previous SAT (taken prior to March 2016), or 650 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the redesigned SAT (Information on the redesigned SAT is available here [link to FAQs].);   

            and/or

  • An applicant scores 26 or above on the English or Reading sections of the ACT.

Oftentimes, a TOEFL score helps balance your testing record. 

What’s the minimum TOEFL score for admission?

We require 100 out of 120 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam. 

Will submitting SAT Subject Tests help me when applying for admission? If so, which subject tests should I take?

We do not require the SAT Subject Tests in the application process. If you choose to take the Subject Tests, however, you can certainly send us your scores for consideration. Please check the First Year of Studies website for specific tests and scores we accept for credit.

Can I send documents by email or fax?

We strongly encourage students to submit documents electronically to international@nd.edu.

How can I schedule an interview?

We do not offer alumni or on-campus interviews in the application process. However, students from China are encouraged to do an interview with InitialView or Vericant

Are there admissions quotas by region, country, or high school?

We do not have quotas per region, country, or high school. We judge students on the merits of their academic and extracurricular talents rather than where they reside. If we have more students from one country over another, it’s simply because we receive more applications from that one country. We will admit as many applicants from a high school and country that meet all the qualifications for Notre Dame. You are not competing against the other students from your high school or country applying to Notre Dame. Rather, you are competing against yourself and how you measure up to the standards Notre Dame is looking for. There’s no guarantee that we’ll admit the same number of students the next year from a particular school or country, as the quality of the applicants may change.

As an international student, can I work on campus?

Yes, but you cannot work more than 20 hours a week.

When do I receive my I-20?

Assuming all of your documents are in order, students should receive their I-20 by June. 

Is the International Student Orientation required for all international students?

International Student Orientation is mandatory for all F-1 and J-1 visa holders. U.S. visa holders, U.S. citizens who grew up abroad, and parents are also invited to attend Orientation. 

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