financial aid/ weather/ diversity

<p>hi. so I know that these are kind of unrelated but they're all concerns I have about ND. I love ND's campus, I love the atmosphere, I love the feeling of belonging. However, I'm a bit concerned about wether tis the right place for me. First is financial aid. My undertsanting is that ND is not the greatest in terms of financial aid awards. This is just the sense I've picked up. I don't want to come out of college with a lot of loans and debt to pay off. Second: weather. In theory, I love the winter and snow, but in reality it makes me really depressed. I actually suffer from depression, and am pretty sure I hve SAD. When it becomes dark I pretty much clsoe in on myself and start eating a lot, and I become really lazy. Thirdly: diversity. Coming from a high school that is very upper middle class, and very lax-centered, I'm concerend about going to a school where 80+% is catholic, and there are a lot of white students. I have found in my High sCHool that I don't fit in in that kind of environemtn, I don't know if ND is different. I love asians and indians and african-americans. I find minorities tend to be more accepting, but that's just my personal opinion. Also, going along with diveristy, there's the fact that while I am catholic, I am also very liberal. i was wondering if this viewpoint might make me feel alienated at somehwere like ND? If anyone could address these fears/ concerns, please respond. I really love ND, I just want to know if i personally could be happy there.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>ND's financial aid is definitely better than most.</p></li>
<li><p>No one can control the weather, accept it and enjoy all the seasons.</p></li>
<li><p>I would wager the students at ND are nicer and more supportive than those at the Ivies and similar schools. Whatever your political beliefs, if you continually shove it in people's faces they will not like it.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>I think that financial aid of ND is among the worst for the top 20 national universities. The loan proportion is pretty high for ND. HYP have the best financial aids, next are SM, then CC. Of course, when comparing with the universities below the top 20, ND's financial aid is not bad.</p>

<p>Financial Aid: Notre Dame was extremely generous with financial aid in my situation. By requiring a wide range of documents, they got a very accurate picture of my family's financial situation and met my true need, going well beyond "need" as calculated by merely FAFSA or CSS Profile methods. With a working class background and some negative economic circumstances, I received over $50,000 in gift aid this year, and only have $5500 in federal loans (taken out mostly for books and travel and such, not all for required costs). Many other people I have talked to have been similarly satisfied and it only seems to be the upper class people who have false expectations because they're under the illusion that they're middle class who are disappointed (if you make $200,000+, a large amount of gift aid is unreasonable). Notre Dame was by far the best in this regard out of the many schools (including other "top" schools ranked around it) I received aid offers from.</p>

<p>Ultimately, though, worrying about whether or not they have good aid shouldn't dissuade you from going, since if you get in, you'll get an aid package and will be able to make your decision with the facts, not some internet poster's opinion on whether or not they have good financial aid.</p>

<p>Weather: The weather can get pretty dull, with constant cloud cover and shifting/dropping temperatures. If you're the type to get really depressed by that kind of weather, then maybe you should go somewhere with a better climate, for your own health. I know there's an artificial sun room you can make appointments in during the winter and some people use it to cope with weather related sadness. My advice is, if at all possible, to visit when the weather is crap, or likely to be. Try November-February, for best (worst) effect. Really, this is a personal issue you'll have to decide for yourself, but I hope it doesn't stop you from attending such a great university.</p>

<p>Diversity: Notre Dame is very Catholic, a bit whiter than the US average, and unfortunately upper-middle/upper-class. That said, there is some diversity. In my dorm, there are several black, Asian, and Hispanic guys in the group of people I hang out with. Most people are Catholic, but my RA is Protestant and I've met a few Jews, Muslims, Buddhists (more common than you'd think), and even atheists. Most people go to Mass at least once a week, though more than once a week is also fairly common. It is a Catholic university, and so Catholics get the most out of attending, but faith itself is valued, so members of other religions benefit in some ways. The class distribution, sadly, leaves much to be desired. I'm from a lower/working-class background (first generation), but most of my friends here are from an upper-middle or upper-class background, with plenty of legacies. Of course, if there's one thing all but the richest upper-class people like saying, it's that they're "middle-class," so there's that I suppose.</p>

<p>As for politics, it depends. Catholicism, as a whole, is a liberal religion. Empowering the poor, decrying the rich, social justice, progress, activism, pro-immigration, anti-execution, et cetera. However, it gets involved in the conservative movement, as the most important social issue for American Catholics tends to be abortion. Most lower-class Catholics are Democrats and most upper-class Catholics are Republicans, so there's a fairly clear conservative bias on campus. However, I know plenty of Democrats and liberals (I'm told there's a significant Student Democrat club and I see lots of widely-accepted gay rights campaigning) as well. Personally, I'm pro-life in all regards, which has led me to Communism, so you'll find all kinds. The intellectual atmosphere isn't incredibly diverse, but there is diversity to be found. If you're liberal, no one is really going to mind, with the sole exception of voicing pro-abortion views. Do not do that. If you are in favor of abortion, you should probably save yourself a good deal of issues and go elsewhere, as that's the single biggest social issue students and the university campaign about.</p>

<p>Hope this helps, good luck in your college search.</p>

<p>Financial Aid was very generous. It's winter from Late October to the beginning of May (it was 20 degrees last June over here). Diversity is minimal, but no one cares.</p>

<p>Yes, the financial aid is very generous when compared to the colleges ranked below it. However, when compared to many of those ranked above it, it is not generous. For example, the case like Manorite, the aids from several universities will be without any loans.</p>

<p>Weather note: It snowed on the 10th. Forty days before winter, and it snowed. It's warmed up now, but for how long?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Yes, the financial aid is very generous when compared to the colleges ranked below it. However, when compared to many of those ranked above it, it is not generous. For example, the case like Manorite, the aids from several universities will be without any loans.

[/quote]

Actually, all tuition, room, and board were covered without loans. I elected to take out a federal loan for travel costs (Florida-Indiana several times a year), books, supplies, and other expenses. They were much more generous than several schools of comparable rank. Maybe they wouldn't be in other cases, but in my case, I don't think you can really say.</p>

<p>financial aid- i don't know because i didn't apply for any</p>

<p>weather- it normally is pretty cold but can be nice. it fluctuates greatly though, so if you're the type that gets sick easily then definitely be aware. i got sick one of the first few weeks of september because it surprisingly was in the 40s for a few days in between a week that generally had highs in the 60s/70s</p>

<p>diversity- catholics are everywhere but they do not impose. ethnically it is mostly white but from what i've seen you can find minorities usually in packs with each other. for everything else i would say there is too much diversity, well for my liking at least. i expected everyone to be wealthy, conservative, and preppy. however, the part of the hall i found myself in turned out to be mostly from financial aid families which i didn't have a problem with but a lot are more liberal with a fair share of democrats. some people here are anti-preppy too which kills me</p>