College Bound: Financial Aid and Merit Aid

Author: Klonsinski, Zach

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College Bound is the Notre Dame admissions podcast. Episode Four: Financial Aid and Merit Aid covers the financial aid applications Notre Dame requires, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile, and provides you with some helpful resources. This episode also explains how merit aid works at Notre Dame. Listen to the episode or read a transcript.

Read the previous blog posts:

  1. Application Review and Deadlines
  2. Academic Criteria for Admission
  3. Non-academic Criteria & Essays

We know financial aid can be a very intimidating piece of an already confusing college discernment and application process. With that in mind, we have compiled a number of resources that will be helpful over the coming months!

You may want to reference this “Financial Aid Dictionary,” put together by the Office of Financial Aid, throughout this blog post, and as you go through the process of applying for Financial Aid!

On the homepage of our Financial Aid website, you will find a financial aid application timeline based on our two application deadlines. When we recorded the podcast, we did not yet have the data for the most recent entering class at Notre Dame, and you will notice that from the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020, Notre Dame’s median need-based scholarship actually increased to $47,800.

Estimating your financial aid package

As you are trying to estimate what a financial aid package from Notre Dame might look like for you and your family, here are two helpful tools: MyinTuition and Notre Dame’s Net Price Calculator. Please keep in mind that these only provide estimates, not your exact financial aid package. They are a good starting point for conversations about investing in a Notre Dame education.

You may also find this Expected Family Contribution chart helpful. It breaks down University scholarship and grant amounts for entering first-year students in Fall 2020 by parental income. Our Financial Aid Office also considers additional information not captured on this chart, knowing that every student’s financial situation is unique, and should be evaluated in that manner.

Ready to apply for Financial Aid? 

These webpages outline the processes for domestic first-year students and international first-year students. This Applications and Forms page also has all of the sites and forms you may need in one place.

Merit Scholarships

Looking for more information about merit scholarships at Notre Dame? Here is the Notre Dame Scholars’ Program website. As a reminder, all you need to do to be eligible for merit scholarships is apply to the University!

Additional resources to help finance your education

If you are searching for additional outside scholarships to bring to Notre Dame, we encourage you to connect with your high school counseling staff, and you can use the tools on this webpage to assist with your search process. 

You may also be interested in information on student employment opportunities and ROTC and veterans’ programs at Notre Dame.

More questions?

If you have any additional questions, please contact our Office of Financial Aid. We know college is a big investment and we want to help as you navigate this process!


Zach Klonsinski is an assistant director with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. He is the regional counselor for Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, parts of Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Read Zach's profile.