A Jewish Boy at University of Notre Dame?

<p>Hi all, </p>

<p>This is my first post on CC, so I want to see how this all works and how valuable opinions are. </p>

<p>Let me begin my saying that I am Jewish. Now, you may be asking what a Jewish student is doing applying to ND- however, I grew up obsessed with ND's marching band, and it has always been my dream to march at Notre Dame Stadium. Academic wise, I have a 3.92 unweighted gpa and a 4.45 weighted gpa. I have always had over a 4.0 weighted gpa for all my years of high school (I'm a junior) and am currently taking 3 AP classes. This is my first year taking AP's, but in the past two years I have been in all honors courses except for math. My ACT is a 28 (I know it's low- I will be retaking it in months to come before I apply). I am in the top 20% of my graduating class. This will be my third year playing high school varsity baseball, I'm an editor of the school newspaper, vice president of Israeli culture club, principal trumpet of the marching band, concert band, and jazz band, and plan to write my essay about the struggles I face having to live life without a maternal figure in my life (my mother passed away from breast cancer in 2009). I additionally want to stress in the ND supplement the potential impact I could have as a Jewish student at ND, and how I can benefit and thrive by being exposed to a university in which the primary religion is not my own. </p>

<p>Do you think my chances are high? If not, what can I do to improve my application?</p>

<p>Thanks to all those who answer, and happy new year!</p>

<p>take SAT II's and make sure your act is around a 33 since your class rank is kind of low</p>

<p>I'm sorry, but your class rank and ACT make it very unlikely. You can study and raise your ACT, but it may be too late for your class rank. More than half of last year's admitted students were valedictorians or salutatorians. Nearly all were in the top 10%, except some recruited athletes and high-donation legacies. Of course, I don't know what top 20% means for you; does that mean you're right at top 20%, or does it mean you're top 13%?</p>

<p>If you can make it into the top 10% by the end of fall of your senior year, and get your ACT into the 30s (average accepted last year was 33), you would have a shot at regular decision, but I don't know how likely that is for you.</p>

<p>One of my friends had wanted to be in the Notre Dame marching band, but didn't get in. He had also applied to Holy Cross, which is like a feeder for transfers to Notre Dame. He went to Holy Cross for a year, was allowed to join the ND band, and then transferred to ND for his sophomore year. If you're really serious about the marching band, you could do that, but it might be better if you just went elsewhere, rather than depending on a transfer that might not happen. (Conversely, you could go elsewhere, try to transfer, and if you get in, great. Of course, you wouldn't be able to be apart of the band before the transfer.)</p>

<p>Class rank is less of an issue than your ACT score. I went to a very tough prep school, so being in the top 20% there was probably harder than being in the top 10% at some other schools. Your school's profile will give ND a more accurate idea of what the top 20% is like (ie, rank is relative and harder to compare across the applicant pool.) ACT scores are an absolute number and easier to compare. What is the breakdown of your scores (E, M, etc?) Have you taken the SAT? Some people do better on one test than the other.</p>