University of Notre Dame Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Carolina

Academically challenging, great professors, great organization, great overall help by staff, but very expensive especially for international students.

John

The one thing that separates Notre Dame from other schools is that we all are obsessed with our school, as are all of our alumni which makes getting a job pretty easy. My dad went here and brainwashed me into thinking ND was the best school ever. I struggled to do well enough in high school to get in, which was rough at times. Part of me thought it would be impossible for the school to live up to my expectations, but it far exceeded them. I can't think of anything that I love more than this school. Personally, I want to change the world for the better, and I feel that almost everyone has that mentality, which is my favorite part of Notre Dame. Our mission statement spells it out, but living it is different. If you pay any money on campus besides tuition, it's going to charity. Every event is for charity. One example - my dorm has a mud volleyball tournament that raises over $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity. I'm pretty sure that happened in the same week that I ran a half marathon for charity and then shaved my head to raise money for cancer research. Our size is perfect. You don't know everyone, so you're never bored, but you know enough people that this is definitely home. Our dorm system is great at making a smaller family in a larger university. I feel that if we had more students, or if we were located in a larger city, our students wouldn't be so united or close-knit. You only do college once, you can live in a city later. We make fun of South Bend, but it has everything we need. All of the essential stores, an airport, right off of the toll road, bars, and places to volunteer. We spend a lot of time on campus though, probably because I could be here for 10 years not taking classes just trying to experience everything Notre Dame has to offer. The worst part of Notre Dame is how I cry about once a month about how I'll eventually have to leave. And I'm still an underclassman. And a guy. I think that sums it up pretty well.

Jill

Notre Dame is like a small and tight community. The campus is amazingly beautiful in the short summer. Winter is long and hard however students from the South may enjoy the snow at the very beginning. Strong school spirit, deep connection with alumi

Amanda

The best things at Notre Dame are the friends you meet and the atmosphere in general. The school is not very large and you get to know most people on campus. It is not a college town but the town does come alive for football games. There is a lot of school pride and the alumni are great.

Tristan

In the big picture, Notre Dame is a community of people who are serious about academics, athletics, school spirit and service (not necessarily in that order!). Because the school is so selective, you will find that almost everyone graduated near the top of their class in high school. You will be surrounded by people who are smart, motivated and genuinely passionately about succeeding in college. Fortunately, this doesn't seem to have led to an uber-competitive atmosphere on campus--students are more than willing to help one another. The school itself is also extremely supportive of its students. Professors are generally very accessible, tutoring programs are all around, and the administration will intervene early to help students who are struggling. It may be very hard to get in to Notre Dame, but it's also hard to fail once you're there. Athletics are obviously a big part of campus life, particulalry during football season. A home football game can consume an entire weekend's social activities (pep rallies, tailgating, game-watching, post-game partying, hanging out with visiting alums and family, etc., etc.). Most of the student body (although not me!) played sports in high school, and the intramural and interhall sports leagues are full of players who might have made the school's varsity program at a less athletically inclined college. In terms of school spirit, Notre Dame is unparalled. The majority of students live on campus in dorms that fill the sorority/fraternity role, which makes them more bonded to and invested in the school. Many come from "legacy" families, with relatives who previously graduated, and have grown up loving the school. The alumni network is ENORMOUS, very active, and very inclined to take care of its own when it comes to job searches or other needs after graduation. That passionate spirit for the university is equaled by a passionate spirit for service to the community. A very significant percentage of the student body is involved in service to some extent, ranging from volunteering at a local elementary school to building houses in Haiti. The university actively encourages and promotes these opportunities through academic programs aimed at service-oriented disciplines, dorm-sponsored service projects, and the sponsorship of lengthier service opportunities in South Bend and around the world.

Nick

Notre Dame has a really great atmosphere to it. It's a great size - about 8,000 undergrads. It's a very friendly atmosphere. If you're religious, either Catholic or not, you'll find a great college to express that. South Bend frankly sucks, but there's not much of a need to go off campus a whole lot. The campus itself is absolutely beautiful. Northern Indiana winters are awful, so if you're from the South, that may come as a shock. Sports here are really fun, as you might expect. Everyone gets really into football and basketball, and games in the student sections are pretty unique.

Kristin

Notre Dame is a highly competative school with some of the happiest students I've have ever met. Every student who attends this school loves it which is shown in the high alumnae involvement. Students of the past and present care about this middle sized (10,000 student) school and are always looking to make it better. It definately has a work hard play hard mentality, but every student is extremely dedicated to making academics a priority.

Brian

The thing about Notre Dame I like a lot is the homey feeling. It is such a beautiful campus, which is contained - it's not in a city and cars don't drive through. I really enjoy the feeling of safety and comfort that it provides. The thing that sucks about it is the anal rules about girls and guys visiting each other late at night - it can't happen. There are a lot of rules, which honestly don't keep anybody from doing anything, it just means they have to do it quietly or behind closed doors.

Nicholas

I love Notre Dame for a viriety of reasons. The most important reason why I love Notre Dame is the people. Most students feel that they can be friends with just about anyone on campus. You really don't understand how special the student body is until your attending Notre Dame as a student and then visit other schools and realize that Notre Dame's student body is just special.

Eileen

Notre Dame is a very unusual place in terms of college. The whole dorm community atmosphere is, as far as I know, unique to ND. The single sex dorms can be nice, as they function as welcoming sororities or fraturnities of sorts. The major drawback with the system, however, is that meeting people of the opposite sex on a friendly level is somewhat more difficult. Notre Dame doesn't really have a college town. If you want to go anywhere off campus you have to call a cab or borrow a friends car. I think there are plans in the works to build a little shopping district within walking distance which would be really nice. My biggest frustration with Notre Dame is its conservative policies. Due to the Catholic nature of the college the policies tend to be very conservative and old fashioned.

Matt

The best thing about Notre Dame is your classmates. Only the most amazing kids get accepted here and your peers will become some of your biggest inspirations. I would change the number of Catholic professors on campus. The Catholic nature of Notre Dame is what makes this school so unique and special because it spreads to all the aspects of campus life; however, the number of Catholic faculty is quickly dropping and many kids worry that the one part about Notre Dame that is unlike all other schools - its Catholicism - may be dissapearing. The size of the school is perfect. You always know someone in the dining hall but can easily avoid anyone you want to. By the end of sophomore year, you generally have one friend in common with everyone in your class. For the most part no one leaves campus. There is no reason too. The upperclassmen stay in the dorms because the dorms are essentially like frats (without the bad parts). Also, Notre Dame offers tons of things for students to do on campus and drinking is allowed in the dorms. The most recent controversies all involve the Catholic nature of the university. Generally the faculty push for less religion while the students, alumni, and trustees wish to maintain the religion. This has manifested itself in hiring of faculty (i.e. should ND set a quota for what percent of faculty need to be Catholic or does this interfere with the goal of becoming a prime research institution) There is more school pride here than any other school I have encountered. This extends far beyond graduation too which can result in great connections and job oppertunities from a worldwide network of sucessful Notre Dame graduates. Notre Dame has parietals (opposite sex must be out of dorms after midnight on weekdays and 2am on weekends) this seems odd at first but for the most part students actually enjoy this although few admit it. I will remember every day as a great experience. Notre Dame is a fantastic place. The most common complaint involves parietals as you might expect.

Lexie

We're a medium sized school. ND has a unique Catholic character and a strong tradition surrounding athletics and academics. ND is very well known in my area. It is however, very conservative. Most students live in the dorms for 3-4 years, which is very unusual.

Joey

I think the best thing about Notre Dame is that virtually everyone here loves it here. So many people chose this university as their first choice, even over institutions such as the Ivies. Since everyone lives in dorms for the first couple of years, there is a real sense of community here. The school is just the right size; it is large enough that you can never get to know everyone, but small enough so that you will not feel like just another number. I am constantly meeting new people, but I also run into people I know all the time, at events, parties, the dining hall, or just walking around campus. The dorms are single-sex, which can be a blessing and a curse; it makes it significantly harder to become good friends with members of the opposite sex, but it also creates a sort of fraternity/sorority atmosphere. Single-sex dorms and especially parietals are probably the most heard complaints. (Parietals are a set of rules that mandate when students of the opposite sex can be in each others' dorms - not after midnight on weeknights and 2 AM on weekends.) The biggest thing that differentiates Notre Dame from other schools is the Catholic vibe. You have infinite opportunities to deepen your religious faith if you go here. I don't think I would be nearly as close in my relationship with God right now if I had not come to this school. The Catholic atmosphere is another factor in creating a close-knit sense of community. Also, Notre Dame is one of the top schools academically in the country, so students here spend a lot of time studying. This, of course, varies with what they are majoring in - business majors probably only study a few hours a week, while engineering majors usually study a few hours a day. Sport on campus are a big deal; we have probably the most storied sports tradition of any college, and the most spirited fans, alumni, and student body. This is one more reason why there is a real sense of community at ND.

Amy

The best thing about Notre Dame for me is that it's a Catholic school. I grew up in Catholic schools and I love that my faith can be a component of my education. However, the fact that ND is Catholic doesn't mean that the faith will be forced upon you. Yes, it is constantly around (the Basilica, the Grotto, retreats and other campus ministry events) but I know plenty of people who aren't Catholic and/or don't agree with the Church on a lot of issues. Notre Dame is a great place to openly discuss the issues facing the Church and the world with all of the sides being presented. Sometimes there is controversy, like whether or not ND should allow the Vagina Monologues on campus, but I think that the controversies are good, because they force us to think about what we really belive in and what is right and wrong. ND is the perfect size: not so small that you know everyone, but small enough that it feels like a community, a family. There is a ton of school pride here, which stems from the small-ish size and the tons of traditions that we have. There are always students at all of the sporting events, cheering loudly even if we are losing terribly. Students are also constantly wearing ND apparel.

Nicole

I love the sense of community at this school. Everyone is so genuine, friendly and polite. Also, the large role that faith plays is very appealing. Complaints usually include dislike of parietals and strictness of rules.

Jules

The best thing is that there is such a tight knit community fostered by the dorms. I would change the university's stance on how they treat homosexuals. The size is SO PERFECT! you can walk around and see tons of people you know but you are also meeting new people every day. It is pretty funny to see people's reactions to Notre Dame, some people love it and respect it and are very impressed that I go there while other people think of it as a conservative catholic football snob school. but there are many more positive reactions

Steph

A great name, a great reputation, awesome rivalries but everybody still respects the education and values that the Notre Dame community upholds.

Amanda

God and Football basically dominate everything

Pat

The school size is perfect for me, I have never walked to a class and never seen someone I don't know. At the same time, it is big enough where I meet new people all the time. The college "town" is scarce. Basically we have a ton of restaurants and like three bars and that is it.

Meg

I really like the size of Notre Dame, its big enough that I still meet new people but it is small enough that I don't feel lost in a crowd of numbers. Notre Dame is a really great school because of the school spirit and sense of community on campus. However, the university's social policies on parietals (male/female visitation hours in dorms) is very strict and unreasonably enforced. I would change the parietals system. I like the administration at Notre Dame and agree with its catholic philosophy but i think there needs to be more openess and inter-religious dialogue.

Madison

The best thing about Notre Dame is the residence hall life. If you do not fit in or like where you live, I can see that being at Notre Dame would be an awful student experience.

Celia

the size is absolutely perfect. big enough to meet tons of new people, but small enough to recognize people and not feel like a number. i spend a lot of time in my dorm, outside as much as possible, the library adn the student center. people are usually really impressed when i tell them i go to nd, and react saying wow you must be smart, or talking to me about football. south bend isnt exactly a college town, but its getting better. eddy street commons and other things are helping making it feel more like a college town. but south bend does provide lots of opportunity for service and other ways to reach out. nd's administration seem good. i havent had alot of personal experience with many of them, but the hall staff are great. not over disciplinarian but fair and helpful. biggest recent contraversy was the delivery of the vagina monologues on the campus since its catholic. they had it followed by panel discussion. there is a ton of school pride in everything, not just sports. tradition isnt just a word, its the law at nd. nd has lots of little oddity tradition, such as not walking up the steps of the main buildings. ill always remember winning the interhall football championship inside the nd stadium. students complain about parietals- curfews in boys/girls dorms

Katie

i'd change how catholic and conservative it is

Elise

Notre Dame is all about community and athletics. I remember hearing it described as the school where all the smart varsity athletes end up, which becomes evident in interhall sporting events. Nearly everyone lives in the all-single-sex dorms on campus - there are no frats or sororities, but the dorms essentially fill the need for that type of social network. Dorms host dances, participate in tons of community service projects, host fundraising events, and, as I mentioned before, compete in a range of interhall sports from table tennis to football (flag for women, full contact/pads for men). The dorms do have a major downside in the enforcement of a policy known as 'parietals': people of the opposite sex cannot be in a dorm during specified evening hours. For example, guys cannot be in a girls dorm from 12-9 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2-9 a.m. Friday and Saturday (and vice versa). The school is the perfect size for someone looking to move up from a small town or away from a big one - the surrounding metro area is about 150,000 but the school itself is a tight community of 10,000 or so including graduate students. Chicago is only a train-ride away, making it easy to go to big concerts and shows. People react favorably when you tell them that you go to Notre Dame, unless, of course, they don't like the football team.

Mary

The best thing about Notre Dame is the community. You have a feeling of being welcome immediately upon stepping on campus. Wherever you go, if you find Notre Dame alumni, they will buy dinner for you, assist you in finding a job, or even just ask you to watch the ND football game with them.

Kelly

Notre Dame is a great size, big enough so its always interesting, but not so big that it's overwhelming. The school spirit here is always high, and the students often five their all to everything that they do. The surrounding area of South Bend is not much to talk about, but has some fun bars (once you're 21). Going to Notre Dame opens a lot of doors outside of the classroom, and nearly everyone who hears "Notre Dame" is immediately impressed. The weather in the winter is probably the most common student complaint.

Pat

There is no college town here. South Bend consists of an old studebaker factor, shit, and then the University of Notre Dame. The weather sucks for about 8 out of the 9 months school is in session. It is a great place tho.

Brian

Tons of school pride, football season is insane. There are plenty of people who drink and go out so if you wnat to do that you're golden and there's a pretty big population who doesn't so if you're not into that you're still fine. Overall great place.

Brennan

The best thing about Notre Dame is the people, there are a lot of great people here. I'd add muffins in the dining hall. People are always impressed to hear I go to Notre Dame. It's got small classes, depending on your major. I spend most of my time working...

Tom

Notre Dame is a mid-sized private school that is known for being pretty prestigious when it comes to getting an education. Classes are all pretty challenging and the teachers challenge students as well. Notre Dame has a very vibrant on-campus life to its student population. School spirit is very big, and the friendships you make at ND are really special. Unforgettable experiences at ND probably range from the football games, to certain classes and professors, to a friday night spent in good company. Some things that I wouldn't mind changed about ND would be the parietals system and the Catholic shroud covering the University. Otherwise, it's pretty awesome here.

Allison

Parietals are a big deal, and end a lot of parties too early, but there are ways around them.

Harper

Notre Dame is a small town with classes. It's different from the average university where at the end of 4 years you graduate with a degree, some good memories, and some great friends. At ND, you get all of that (along with a little chunk of debt if you're like me) one of the most prolific alumni networks in the country, and the stigma and prestige of the name Notre Dame. It's really interesting how people react to the name. It's a school you either love or hate, and rarely will you meet someone who is lukewarm. The bottom line about ND: The classes are hard, every other student has a varisty letter and a 3.5 GPA. You're held accountable for your actions in the world, but babied a bit for your actions on campus. You're stuck in a bubble, but only if you let yourself be so. "From the outside looking in you can't understand it and from the inside looking out you can't explain it."

Elizabeth

I love ND and everything about it, but if we want to talk about something unusual, it would have to be the gender relations...so many students come from same sex religious high schools, and have no experience interacting with the other gender - it makes it hard to make friends with the other sex, especially if there is dating or more involved.

Casey

I really love Notre Dame. I love the size of the school: it´s not too big that you feel completely lost in the crowd, but it´s not too small either. I love the feeling of belonging to the University, of feeling that you´re really at some place special. It´s the "Notre Dame family", as cheesy as that sounds. When I tell people I go to Notre Dame, the reactions are generally pretty strong. It´s either, "Wow, that´s a really tough school, isn´t it?" or conversely you get people who hate Notre Dame. A lot of times people just know about Notre Dame because of the football and bring that up. To be honest, the city of South Bend, IN isn´t much to write home about, but you find things to do. I wish it were more of a college town, but that´s okay that it´s not. There is a lot of school pride at Notre Dame. Almost everyone loves it and I have friends that even cry when we talk about Notre Dame because they love it so much. There´s a lot of stuff unusual about Notre Dame! Dorm life is a big deal; at most other schools people only live on campus freshman year. At Notre Dame, almost everyone lives on campus three years if not all four. There are no fraternities or sororities at Notre Dame, and dorms then become sort of like your frat or sorority although on a lesser level. Each dorm has it´s own mascot and colors and cheers. You generally live in the same dorm each year and go to the pep rallies singing your cheers. Each dorm has signature dorm events, like the Fischer Regatta where each dorm builds a boat (usually out of crazy materials) and then they race them across the lake on campus. We are a strange unique school with many quirks but I love most all of them. Some things I don´t like are rules like parietals. Parietals stipulate that you cannot be in the dorm of the opposite sex (because all the dorms are same sex) between midnight and 9 am on weekdays and between 2 am and 9 am on weekends, unless you´re in the designated 24 hour common space. Sometimes parietals are nice because if your roommate is with their significant other in your room, then you know that at least they´ll leave at parietals. I´ll always remember the football games, especially the USC game my freshman year. I´ll always remember the campus wide snowball fights the first snowfall. I´ll always remember so many things from my time at Notre Dame because it´s just so amazing.

Quinn

great community, balance between academics and social

Alex

The school is the perfect size. If you walk into a big room filled with a random assortment of people, you'll know two or three well. So you'll always meet new people, but it's not so big that you'll be lost in it. The best thing about ND is the camaraderie and the close spirit. I didn't think it was such a big deal when applying for colleges, but I got here and realized it truly does make all the difference in the college when the people teaching you and the people you study with are actualy passionate about this place. I spend most of my time on campus

Erin

The best thing about Notre Dame is the Catholic atmosphere. It's so nice to be in an environment where I can be comfortable practicing my faith. However, I don't feel that students who are not Catholic feel out of the loop or anything. For Catholics, a wonderful atmosphere of faith is provided and for non-Catholics, they are in a place where they feel supported and loved and able to be believe in any faith freely. My school is just the right size! I don't feel lost in the crowd, but there's always new people to meet! People are normally fairly impressed when they hear I go to Notre Dame-- it is known for strong academically.

Ryan

the best thing about notre dame is its unique residence life. its the perfect size - less than 10k. if i could change one thing it would be parietals (single sex segregation hours). there is a lot of school pride, but a lot of unrest at the same time because of the conservative nature of the school and the administration. there are always a lot of complaints, but generally the majority of the student body loves being a part of the school. south bend is not a college town - although parts of it are geared to university students, its not a particularly safe or welcoming place.

Harper

TRADITION, SPIRIT, GOD, FRIENDS, GOD, HOMESICKNESS, LOVE

Kaitlyn

One of the best things about Notre Dame is the division between the week and the weekend. Notre Dame students "Work Hard, Play Hard." The main emphasis of a Notre Dame education may be placed on academics, but Notre Dame educates the entire person: "Mind, Body, and Soul." Students are encouraged to balance their academic, athletic, social, and spiritual lives.

kelly

if i could change something it would probably be that i want to be closer to home and the weather is kind of rough

Greg

It's a medium sized school where you see people you know walking to class, but there are lots of people you don't know. The Catholic element is very present, and it's a great place to develop your spiritual life. It's fairly conservative socially both in the structure and the students. The student body is, on average, more athletic and interested in sports. It's very demanding academically, but you can grow so much if you want to.

Andy

I love the spirituality at notre dame. I also love how much the school cares about the students and their future. It's really good for undergraduates, because it is a very safe campus with students who look out for others. I would not want to go here for grad school though, or stay here as an adult - the town is pretty cruddy, and there doesn't seem to be much of a city life. I wish notre dame could be more open-minded about certain things though, and it is very obvious that the campus is male-focused. Everything for boys is more lenient, and it's a wierd feeling. One big controversy was the vagina monologues coming on campus, which did end up happening and I was happy about that.

Harper

I came to Notre Dame because I liked the size and the 2-hr distance from home, as well as the prestige of the school, the family atmosphere, and the values I perceived from the administration. I think these have all continued to be good reasons for coming here. I don't like the weather as much as some other places, and the location is not quite picturesque, but it still has its beauty. Sometimes I feel like we live too much in a bubble, and that the world is so much bigger than we realize, but at the same time, there are so many ways to learn about the world while we are here.

Liz

You get to start expecting people to react when you say you go to Notre Dame, so much so that you brace yourself for it and are almost disappointed when all they say is "oh, that's cool". The administration here sucks. You often really wonder who they are here for, the name of Notre Dame or the actual students. It seems that many things that come from the administration are often two-sided and it feels like you are always trying to figure out the real reason things are as they are. On top of that, there are way to many politics going on everywhere. It really can come down to who you know. However, all in all, I love my school. I know there are so many things here that I have experienced that I would have never experienced any where else. And I will always be grateful for the person I have become by coming here. Not every lesson I have learned has been taught easily and some have come through hard circumstances and experiences, yet even those I have come to appreciate and would not change them or how they have changed me.

Jill

One of the greatest things I've learned being abroad is how much I love Notre Dame. And I don't mean it in the sense of I'm going to paint my house blue and gold, get tatoos all over my body, make it mandatory that my kids (in the future) attend Notre Dame... What I mean is Notre Dame has been a WONDERFUL experience for me. I love our campus size; I love how beautiful our campus is; I love how I can walk around by myself at any time of day, pretty much anywhere, and feel comfortable; I love our dorms; I love the opportunities that I've been presented with because I've been at Notre Dame. I've done things I know I'll never get another opportunity to do...I've met some of the most wonderful people that I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life. I also love that we're a Catholic school...but a Catholic school, that, in my opinion, doesn't pressure you to have to be Catholic, but will support you if you are. I love having masses in the dorms, a breath-taking Basilica, and most importantly, one of the most beautiful and touching Grottos I've ever been to. Notre Dame is a place where I just really feel you can learn a lot about yourself and really grow if you take advantage of all there is around you. I wouldn't trade my time at Notre Dame for any other school.

Kris

perfect size school. enough people that you always see someone you know wherever you go, but you are still always meeting new people. Its Catholic, but lately has been sacrificing some of its catholic tradtions to meet liberal societal pressures.

Emily

Notre Dame is a bubble campus. Once you are here, there is little to no need to go off campus and the freshman students rarely do so. The school seems large, but within a couple months, the campus shrinks and you cannot walk anywhere without recognizing many of the people you pass. This is also a very conservative campus, evident in decisions here and the rules in the student dorms. However, some rules only appear to be inforced when looking from the outside of the dorm, but alcohol is very prevelant on this campus. Overall, the students here are hard working during the week and like to let loose on the weekends.

David

THe only thing I'd change is where ND is. There is no college town here, and life basically centers around campus. Luckily, campus life is awesome, just gets old after 4 yrs

Elizabeth

the best thing about ND is that you don't have to work hard to find friends who value their schoolwork, so it's easier for me to do mine and not feel ostracized. one thing i'd change would be parietals (the part where you can only be in the same genders' dorm after midnight). it's a good size. i can say hi to people i know on the way to class, but i dont know everyone in my classes (by any stretch of the imagination). people are always impressed when i say i go to ND. they say "oh so you must be smart." which of course is impossible to respond to. most of my time on campus is spent in my dorm or in my boyfriend's dorm, or else in LaFortune with my friends. "what college town?" although they're building a street of little shops that should be open by 2010. the biggest recent controversy was over jenkins' decision to allow the vagina monologues to be performed on campus. the unusual part of ND is our stupid ducks that swim on South Quad when it rains too much. most people complain about the weather the most, and then too much schoolwork the second-most.

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