Besides ND, what other colleges have you applied to?

My son got in to ND (class of 2021). He also got into Villanova’s Honors program and has been selected to apply to Marquette’s new 8-person Honors Research program. He received merit money from Fordham, Loyola Chicago and Marquette.

We are thrilled that he has choices. However, ND ticks all the boxes for him; but as has been discussed here many times, money will be a factor.

For those of you who got into ND, was it difficult to make the decision, based on $$$ and the competitive offers you received from other colleges.

My D is a sophomore at ND currently and cost was definitely a factor in her decision to attend. I told her how much I could afford to pay each year (for any school). Neither of us wanted her to incur much debt for undergrad. She was a NMF so had at least one full ride offer (UK), and other offers for full tuition and again lesser amounts at other schools. The wait between acceptance (Dec) to receipt of the financial aid award (March) was rough, but when she received it we were thrilled at how generous they were and she is happily attending. For us it was very important to have an established tuition “floor” amount that I could pay. She knew if the aid didn’t come in, she would not be able to attend.

Thanks for that. We are in that precarious financial sphere where my husband makes too much money to qualify for aid; and we have too much in savings that is earmarked for retirement, but not in a 401K.

We gave him a generous number of $40k per year toward a ND education. If he doesn’t receive any outside merit aid, he will end up with at least $100k in loans.

How does your D like ND? Is she happy with her decision?

She absolutely loves it, more than she thought she would. (And she’s not Catholic!) The opportunities she’s had there have been wonderful, and she’s made good connections with her professors and has a really nice group of friends. She is in a “soft” major (actually double majoring in two soft majors). What does your son want to study? That may make a difference in how soon he could pay off loans. Also, there are local alumnae clubs that often offer smaller scholarships to defray costs, but where we are they are need-based. Did you file for financial aid?

I did file all the necessary forms for FA. (FAFSA, CSS, IDOC) — I’m wondering if I should follow up with Notre Dame’s FA office to confirm that they have everything they need??

My son has an interesting story. He wants to double major in vocal performance and something else in Arts and Letters. (psychology, Philosophy, theology… totally undecided). He also is discerning the priesthood - which is something that I struggle with as a parent - not in his choice - but in his desire to go to ND and have that sort of debt. If he goes that route, how will he ever pay off those loans? We are trying to be practical - but the emotional decision of attending Notre Dame is certainly at play here

His other interest is in Law - and I can see him being a very good lawyer - but then there’s law school….

Glad to hear that your daughter loves it. Some of the things I’ve read on these types of forums is that the administration really “doesn’t care” I’m not sure what that generalized statement means - but it seems strange that this is the case here.

We just met with our local ND alumni/parent group over the weekend. They had an “Early Admit” party. I must say that I was really impressed. What other colleges do a thing like that? Speaks volumes for ND’s proud and strong alumni network.

“Some of the things I’ve read on these types of forums is that the administration really “doesn’t care” I’m not sure what that generalized statement means - but it seems strange that this is the case here.”

Well, she hasn’t had any problems with the administration, and her professors have been fantastic resources for her. She is not an aggressive kid so I worried that she wouldn’t really get to know her professors but they have been wonderful, offering to mentor her on projects, etc.

I understand the emotion that comes into this, and we tried very hard not to let that seep in, but it was there.

If he’s thinking law school, then I do understand the concern about debt for sure. For the priesthood, I’m not sure how that’s handled.

Good luck to the both of you. I know this is hard! He’s got some really great options either way. If you have any other questions, let me know.

I’ve also been accepted to ND '21, as well as Villanova’s honors and Alabama’s honors with a full ride, and I’m in the engineering program at each university. However, ND is my top choice, but my family is in that sphere as well with making too much to qualify for aid, but not enough that I won’t incur substantial debt. Is ND typically generous enough that if someone is accepted, they will understand financial situations like this so someone like me could attend?

As a student I cannot imagine having that kind of debt at the end of school. I hope as parents you all understand that we don’t understand this concept. You all should read:
It goes a long way.
No matter what you choose make sure you know that we Don’t know what it’s like.
All we have are hopes and dreams. The incredible debt burden some of these colleges are offering is just too big for us to comprehend the impact. I know from experience in our extended family.
It’s not the college that makes the person. It’s the person who takes what is given to them and makes the most of it plus more.

Good luck parents! As a student we do appreciate your evaluations. It’s really really important!

@pencilsharperner, ND was very generous for our family, but it’s all relative. Have your parents told you what they can afford to pay? That’s the baseline. ND is a fantastic school, but IMO not worth crippling debt - I don’t think any school is. Villanova and Alabama are both great schools.

Pencil – the school’s that do merit money specifically make those awards for the purpose of making your decision tough. A kid who can get into ND (and who would have to pay the $65k sticker price) can probably pay $40k for Nova, $30k for Fordham, and $15k for Bama. They especially target the donut hole families ($200-350k income) who won’t get much/any financial aid. Like the “just say no to Northwestern” family linked above.

The family “could” pay for most or all of ND, but it would be a strain. 100% of the college savings are used up, plus the family has to write some additional checks from current income, plus there may be some parent/student loans on top.

Even if the amount of loans is modest or zero, it still can be a tough call. Especially if professional school is a future possibility.

Pencil - congrats on your acceptance to ND, Villanova as well as Alabama. A full ride is difficult to walk away from. Unfortunately, like us, you won’t receive much assistance from ND. They take certain factors into consideration for families like us, such as do your parents already have a kid in college - but if your parents are in that “donut” group (that’s what we are called), it’s unlikely you’ll get much from ND.

You will probably be eligible for the $5,500 Federal Direct unsubsidized loan; which has an interest rate of 3.7%. Interest will accumulate while you are in school. The amount of the loan increases each year - $6500 for sophomore, $7500 for junior and senior. So over the four years, you are looking at a $27000 loan. Not much when 4 years at ND is $270,000 - but it’s something.

You won’t find out about your aid package until late February.

Merit aid is only offered to 65 students. And out of 2000 in the freshman class, it’s highly competitive.

Since you are in engineering, there are a number of outside merit scholarships I’ve seen out there. If you haven’t already, get on Fastweb, BigFuture and — search Engineering scholarships.

It’s great that ND meets 100% of students who are in need - but for people like us, we have to struggle to come up with the money. Hate to say it, but it’s times like these when I wish my husband didn’t make as much money as he does.

Congratulations on your acceptance! As a parent of two ND students (daughter ND '11 and son current ND senior) I can tell you that it is just an amazing place. The opportunities are endless and the life long “family” is hard to define and wonderful to be a part of. (We are a legacy family). The cost is high, no doubt, but I will tell you that our daughter was a full pay her first year, but then had merit scholarships in the following years up and to a near full ride her senior year. She was a great student and double major-Science Pre-prof and Music, vocal performance, a tough double as it was through two colleges. What I am saying is that ND is different. It’s not just a 4 year decision, but a life long one. A little debt won’t hurt anyone.

"He received merit money from Fordham, Loyola Chicago and Marquette.

We are thrilled that he has choices. However, ND ticks all the boxes for him; but as has been discussed here many times, money will be a factor."

I just think that ND is in a different league academically and intellectually (particularly for someone interested in music and the humanities) than the other schools not to mention the strength of the ND alumni network. Can you somehow appeal the FA award from ND to get more money?

Congrats on getting accepted! I am a current Junior at Notre Dame, and I love and and honestly can’t see myself anywhere else. I was deciding between ND and a half scholarship at Whitman (A small but strong liberal arts college in Washington). Cost was a factor in making the decision, but ultimately I think I would have regretted going to Whitman. ND provides fantastic education, connections, and fun, and truly does “check all of the boxes.” I have had two great internships at top medical centers the past two summers, and I think being at ND played a large role in me having those opportunities.

In regards to the feeling that the administration does not care about the students. To put it simply, some students believe that rather than looking after student needs the administration just seeks to maximize the growth of the school’s endowment (look at our recent endowment growth trend). However, this does not mean the administration ignores student opinion. They take our opinion into high consideration. For example, Donald Trump may speak at this years commencement, but because many students are opposed to him and telling the university they do not want him speaking it may not happen. So yes, there can be frustration with the administration for how it handles particular situations, but that is something to be found at all schools.