On the Waiting List? We Answer Your Questions Here

Author: Brendan Corsones

The Waiting List 1

For the vast majority of the record 22,199 applicants for Notre Dame’s first-year class, we have been able to provide a final admissions decision; but for a small percentage of applicants, the waiting will continue a little longer.

This blog entry is for those who have been offered a place on Notre Dame’s waiting list. With it, I hope to eliminate some of the uncertainty surrounding the process by providing advice and answers to our most frequently asked questions.

We recognize the time and effort you have invested in the application process, and we thank you for your continued interest in Notre Dame. If after reading this post you still have questions about our waiting list procedure, please contact us. We understand that waiting isn’t easy, but we’re always here to help.

Five Pieces of Advice

  1. First, confirm your spot on Notre Dame’s waiting list via your applicant status portal. This action lets us know that you would like to be considered for admission from the waiting list. You can also indicate if you are no longer interested in attending Notre Dame. We understand that some students prefer the resolution of moving forward with another great college or university, and we respect that decision.
  2. It is important that you commit to enrolling at another college or university before the May 1 enrollment confirmation deadline. This typically involves submitting a nonrefundable deposit. You must make all necessary preparations to attend another institution before this date, as we are uncertain how many students will be offered a spot in our incoming class from the waiting list.
  3. If you haven’t already done so, complete your financial aid application. Notre Dame is committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of every student admitted to the University. Even though the priority deadlines have passed, it is not too late to submit your financial aid application and supporting documents. The sooner the better!  
  4. Feel free to share any significant application updates with your regional admissions counselor or upload them to your applicant status portal. A lot can happen between January 1 and May 1; and we want to make sure your application is as up-to-date as possible. Updated transcripts? Noteworthy new accomplishment? Please send it in! In addition to your classroom and extracurricular achievements, we are interested in learning about what Notre Dame means to you and why you wish to attend. Therefore, if the 150-word limit for the “What excites you about attending Notre Dame?” essay prompt was not enough to express your thoughts, feel free to expand upon that question and share it with us. Finally, please note that we do not encourage additional letters of recommendation or visits to campus.
  5. Finally (and perhaps most importantly), stay calm and take a deep breath. If you’ve followed each piece of advice above, know that you’ve done everything you can to best prepare yourself for admission from the waiting list or enrollment at another great college or university.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Notre Dame create a waiting list?

The size and strength of our applicant pool precludes us from admitting all of the great applicants whom we envision thriving on our campus. Creating a waiting list allows us to select additional students who will compose our first-year class if space allows, following the May 1 enrollment confirmation deadline.

How many students will be admitted from the waiting list?

The short answer is that we don’t know. Historically, 50-100 students are admitted from the waiting list each year. Some years we admit more (100+); other years we have admitted none.

Who will be admitted from the waiting list?

You may be sensing a pattern, but we don’t know. This is the most difficult question to answer as we believe every student on our waiting list is capable and worthy of being a Notre Dame student. After the May 1 enrollment confirmation deadline passes, we will evaluate our class size and needs and see how we can meet those needs. We consider many factors.

Are those on the waiting list ranked?

No, Notre Dame does not determine any ranking system for those who have been offered a place on the waiting list.

Can I visit campus if I’m on the waiting list?

We do not encourage students on the waiting list to visit campus. For those who choose to, we offer general information sessions and group campus tours. Students who visit campus are not more likely to be admitted.

Is admission from the waiting list need-blind?

Yes, Notre Dame is committed to remaining need-blind when admitting students from the waiting list. Being need-blind means we do not use one’s need (or lack of need) for financial assistance as a factor in our decisions.

How do I send my updates to the Office of Admissions?

Those who decide to send any of the recommended updates (see advice above) are asked to direct them to their regional admissions counselor via email or to upload them to the applicant status portal. It is our preference that updates are sent together as a package rather than in multiple emails. All updates should be sent before May 1.

When will I learn if I’ve been admitted from the waiting list?

We anticipate notifying students who will be admitted by mid-May. However, decisions could be made on a rolling basis until late-June if necessary. Final notifications, positive or otherwise, will be mailed by the end of June.

If I am admitted from the waiting list, how will I be notified?

The admissions staff makes every effort to place a personal phone call to each student who is being admitted from the waiting list. (Making these phone calls is one of the highlights of our year!) An official, written offer of admission is then mailed to the student’s home.

Is admission from the waiting list binding?

No. Students admitted from the waiting list will be given a period of time of at least one week to confirm whether they will or will not accept our offer of admission.

Is there financial aid available for students admitted from the waiting list?

Yes. Notre Dame is committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of every student who is admitted. If you haven’t already, please complete the financial aid application.

Is there on-campus housing available for students admitted from the waiting list?

Yes. If you’re admitted from the waiting list, you’re as much of a Notre Dame student as anyone else who will enroll.

Brendan Corsones

Brendan Corsones is an assistant director with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. He is the admissions counselor for the following areas: Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New York (Upstate Only), Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia. Learn more.