Low SAT score--Chances?

Hey guys. If you’ve noticed my name, you may realize that I’ve had a change of heart recently. I’ve decided that I would rather be at a Catholic/Christian University than a secular one, and so I’ve found Notre Dame. I plan on applying to Mendoza, but I’m not sure if I would accept for another degree at ND. I’ve become obsessed, but I’m very worried about my SAT score. I plan on retaking in October, so hopefully I improve, but this is where I currently stand:

I have a 1350/1600 (710m), or a 2000/2400 (640r)
Got a 710 on SAT II Math 2

I realize that I’m 50 points shy of the 25th percentile, which does not give me the greatest of chances. However, I was wondering how holistic ND is when looking at applications?

My AP’s include AP Psych (5), AP/BC Calc (5/5), AP Language (4), and APUSH (3-Not self-reporting that). These scores earned me the AP Scholar with Honor
GPA is 4.0/4.0, 4.6545/5.0, Top 10% of my class. Public School. First Honors for 9 semesters, Second Honors for 3 semesters
Senior Workload includes Calculus 3, AP Physics, AP Stat, Stat, Sociology, and AP Literature
I’ve played baseball for 3 years, including Varsity (obviously) and recreational basketball for 4 years.
I’ve created a youth group at my church designed to keep seniors/college students involved in their religious lives
I’ve been a peer minister for 2 years (and I’m pretty sure my rec letter from my youth minister will be amazing)
I usher at my church’s youth masses
I’ve been a leader in FCA for 3 years
Currently in NHS, MHS, and Spanish Honors Society (Treasurer there)
Student Ambassador for 1 year, invited to be part of Welcoming Committee there as well
Tutor for 2 years, requested by teachers to join a special program at my school for tutoring.
No hooks (legacy, first ten, etc) Unless a hook is having never sent a student to ND, which I don’t think my school has yet
Common App Essay will be about how I found God through disease (Chronic IBD)
Lots of Service Hours. Can’t keep track of religious hours officially through my school (they don’t allow religious activities), but that should show on my common app activities section.

Any reviews would be greatly appreciated. Be as harsh as you want, as it can only help me. Also, if you have an suggestions on how to improve my chances, please let me know. Thanks, and God Bless!

Also, if it matters, my Junior Year classes were AP Psych, AP Lang, AP Calc BC, APUSH, English 11, Management and Entrepreneurship, and Teacher aid/SAT Prep (Prep was 1 term, aid for the other term)

You have a very strong application but Notre Dame is targeting the top 1% on standardized tests / class rank. Maybe your EC’s and great course rigor will carry the day. Write great essays and hope for the best

@Wje9164be So my SAT is that destructive? Guess I know what I’m focusing on for the next month :frowning: Thanks for the honest opinion though.

Also, as a side note for anyone viewing/possibly replying to this, I was looking over my OP, and realized that it should read “First Honors for 9 terms, Second Honors for 3 terms” Not Semesters

You have a good profile of activities etc. for ND but as of now your SAT score will hurt your chances. It is fine to apply to a couple of reach schools but be sure to have a good mix of reach/match/safety schools on your application list. And keep in mind that there are a ton of wonderful Catholic schools with business programs that are less competitive than ND in terms of admissions but are still amazing schools in their own right. For example, check out the list of Jesuit colleges to get some alternatives: http://www.ajcunet.edu/institutions

@happy1 Sorry for the late reply, I got pretty busy over the past few days.

So clearly, to have a decent shot at ND, I need to get a higher SAT. Would somewhere in the 1450 range improve my chances drastically?

Also, as far as my common app essay goes, is it bad to mention religion? Im not shoving it down the reader’s throat, but it’s a key point in my life, and I want to include it, but I don’t want it to hurt my chances of getting into certain schools. This applies to non-Christian affiliated schools as well.

OP, I don’t see any foreign language classes in either junior or senior year schedule. As part of its evaluation criteria, ND states that it prefers to see 3-4 years of a foreign language. I notice that you mention being part of a Spanish Honors Society. Are you taking Spanish classes?

@ dreambig2018 My bad. I took Spanish 4 in sophomore year, so I didn’t mention it. But yes, I have taken foreign language classes :slight_smile:

Here is the class profile from ND. As you can see a 1450 would put you just a little over the 25% mark.

Look at your score reports from previous SAT (s) and hone in on your weaknesses. Do not bother with the Writing section prep for ND (may be necessary for other schools) as they don’t count it.
Get the SAT blue book and do timed practice tests. There are 10 full length previous SAT tests in that book. When my son was preparing last year he would do 1-2 timed sections a few times a week. He did not do full length 3 hour tests to prepare, just pounded away at the subjects he needed. It only takes a few questions to improve those scores in some incidences. If needed, take the test again in December. Apply regular admission. Contact your admissions counselor for your region to show interest. Make the essays unique.

Another thought for an essay: talk about how your school will not let you count religious service hours and discuss that struggle and what it means to you, etc.

@steveo87 Thanks for your suggestions! I’ve been prepping for the last few weeks, so hopefully my score reflects the work I’ve been putting in. As far as contacting reps go, what should I talk about? I’ve been asking questions, but my rep hasn’t been asking questions back, making conversation sort of difficult :confused:

As far as the essay goes, I think I’m pretty much set with my battle with IBD. My goal isn’t pity, so I had a teacher look over it to make sure it didn’t come off that way. She seemed to love it, so hopefully ND will too :smiley:

It is great to reach for a school you love, and I hope it works out for you at ND. BUT please be sure to have a good list of target and safety schools that you would also be happy at. There are so many wonderful colleges and universities out there so nobody should think there is just one “right school”. In general, the only kids who I see hurt by this admission process are ones who pin all their hopes and expectation of future happiness on one reach school. Please don’t be one of those kids.

And my S who was not a viable candidate for ND as an undergrad went to a Jesuit college, had an absolutely fantastic 4 years, and then got into a Master’s program at ND – things often work out for the best. Stay healthy and enjoy your college years at ND or wherever life takes you.

@happy1 Thanks for the comment happy. I definitely realize that ND is a reach at the moment, but I’m hoping that I’m able to change that with the October and possibly December SAT. Exclduing my SAT, I don’t think that ND is a reach (other than the general fact that it’s already hard to get in to).

But in case things don’t work out, I do have a list of safeties/matches, so I’m not pinning my college plans on ND. It’s just I would prefer to be there over my other schools, especially after visiting campus.

If it makes you feel any better, I was a rich white male with a crap 27 ACT and not a legacy and got in, anything is possible. I was arts and letters though.

@Sheepeasy Thanks for the reply and for sharing your info! Do you think you had anything that helped equal out your ACT, like an amazing EC or great story to tell? Any other general tips that you think might’ve helped?

@IvyHopeful98 I can say that I worked really hard on my essays, specifically why I wanted to be there. (I talked about how I was into medieval studies and how ND’s program is top tier for that). I am adamant after meeting the extraordinary, gifted, intelligent people here that my major was what got me in. I was subpar in all aspects but I’m thankful to be here. No amazing story or EC. I was involved in high school and now I am focusing on class, it was all to get here. :wink:

@Sheepeasy Well, its good to know ND doesn’t care entirely about standardized testing. Congrats on getting in, and I’ll be sure to show ND why I want to go there through my essays :slight_smile:

I did take the SAT again, and I think I am going to fall in the 1450 2 part range, which obviously gives me some help. Hopefully it’s enough, but only time will tell.

@IvyHopeful98 Only time will tell indeed, keep your spirits up! I was literally the farthest candidate to be accepted, (I also wasn’t catholic or even christian and that puts me in a group of only 10 percent of students here, on top of the subpar stats!) So never loose hope and I would apply to a bunch of schools so you can weigh your options!

OP: I am glad to see that ND has caught your eye. My SAT composite score when I applied was (if I remember correctly) a 1930. I also took the ACT, but I got something like a 22 on it, so didn’t bother submitting the score. My standardized testing has in no way held me back, and I’ve met many other students here at ND with similar experiences. (I also currently intern in the Admissions Department, and so I feel I have some authority on this matter.) Don’t put too much weight on your SATs. You sound like a fantastic applicant, and I would chance your probability of acceptance very highly.

Be well!