What is the Merit Scholar Selection Visit?

The Merit Scholar Selection Visit is an opportunity for merit scholarship finalists to experience life at the University of Notre Dame in all of its intellectual, social, and spiritual vibrancy. It is an all-expenses-paid trip to campus. During the visit, you will meet Notre Dame professors and current merit scholars, attend classes, tour campus, and get to know other prospective students. As a finalist for a merit scholarship, you will also meet with distinguished faculty and alumni interviewers as part of the selection process. The visit covers four days of planned activities and presentations to answer any questions you may have about the University and its merit scholarship programs.

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What if I cannot attend for the entire visit?

Consideration for a merit scholarship requires complete participation in the Merit Scholar Selection Visit. Participants are expected to arrive on Saturday and depart campus on Tuesday morning.

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What will the merit finalist interview entail and how can I prepare?

As individuals and in groups, finalists will be interviewed by leading faculty and alumni of the University of Notre Dame. Interviewers will assess the finalists' potential to contribute to the University and the world at large in three main areas: scholarship, public service, and ethical
leadership.

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When will I be notified if I am awarded a merit scholarship?

Finalists will be notified of a decision in early April.

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What is recommended attire for the merit finalist interview?

Business professional attire is recommended for the scholarship interview. If acquiring proper attire presents a financial burden, please let us know so assistance can be provided.

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What attire is recommended for the rest of the program?

Feel free to dress comfortably while traveling to and from campus. Please note that for the Saturday night dinner attire is business professional. On Sunday, attire is business professional for merit finalist interviews. Attire is casual for Sunday evening and Monday. The closing dinner with University guests on Monday evening will be business casual. Encouraged attire includes a shirt and tie (jacket is optional), dress slacks, a dress, or a skirt.

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How many students take part in the Merit Scholar Selection Visit?

The Merit Scholar Selection Visit is limited to approximately 130 participants. Some events and meals overlap with other concurrent campus visit programs.

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Is there parent programming during the Merit Scholar Selection Visit?

There is no parent programming offered during the Merit Scholar Selection Visit.

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How is my travel arranged?

Those flying to a Chicago airport will receive a pre-paid, electronic ticket from Anthony Travel via email. Participants are responsible for checked baggage fees. Those who have significant financial need can request a reimbursement. Those driving to campus will be reimbursed following the Merit Scholar Selection Visit for mileage and tolls. After your trip to Notre Dame, you will receive a form via email to document miles and request a reimbursement. Please see Travel to ND for Google Maps driving directions and on-campus driving directions. Those taking Amtrak will receive a pre-paid, electronic ticket from Anthony Travel via email. Those taking the chartered bus will be given directions on departure times and other important information via email.

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What happens after I arrive at the airport or train station?

Members of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will be present at the airport and train station to welcome all travelers. Shuttle buses have been arranged for transportation to and from campus. 

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With whom will I stay during the Merit Scholar Selection Visit?

Participants stay with current undergraduate merit scholars in one of Notre Dame’s 30 single-sex residence halls. Student host contact information will be shared with participants just prior to arrival on campus. The student committee will attempt to pair Merit Scholar Selection Visit participants with students who share a common academic interest. For security reasons, all residence halls are locked 24 hours a day. Participants will be given temporary key-card access during the program.

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What should I bring?

Weather Forecast

The most important thing to consider when packing for the Merit Scholar Selection Visit is the variability of Midwest weather. Be sure to review the weather forecast before packing to see if you'll need shorts or snow boots! The average high temperature in late March is 47 degrees, and in the evening the average low is 28 degrees. Merit Scholar Selection Visit participants will be spending time outside walking across campus, so planning a warm and comfortable wardrobe is advised.

In addition to the essentials, here’s a suggested packing list:

  • Coat or jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • Travel umbrella
  • Comfortable shoes or boots
  • Sweatshirt or sweater
  • Toiletries
  • Required medications
  • Shower sandals
  • Towel
  • Pillow (if student host advises)
  • Blanket/sleeping bag (if student host advises)
  • Gym clothing, athletic shoes (optional, participants have campus gym access)
  • Phone charger

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Do I need to bring any money with me?

All meals to and from campus on travel days are the participant's responsibility. All meals, programming, and special event tickets are provided by the University during the Merit Scholar Selection Visit. Participants may wish to purchase snacks on campus and/or gifts from the Notre Dame Bookstore. There is a small convenience store on campus where toiletries can be purchased. 

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