Notre Dame Gateway 2025

I wanted to start a thread for anyone who was invited to the Notre Dame Gateway program. I applied rea and was invited to do Gateway instead. I had not heard of it before so it caused some initial disappointment and confusion. After doing some research, it sounds like a great program, so although it’s not the path I intended, I’m definitely considering it in order to attend ND. It’s my understanding that it’s only offered to around 50 applicants during rea, so I was hoping to meet someone else who is in the same position. Or, someone who has done or has experience with Gateway.

I am currently a freshman in the Gateway program and I really like it! There is a gateway Instagram called @gatewayhcnd if you wanna check that out. If you have any questions, ask away.

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Congratulations on your acceptance and invitation to the Gateway program! I am just a mom who was researching all options prior to decisions being released, but I found last year’s thread on the Gateway program to be very helpful - Notre Dame/Holy Cross Gateway Program 2024. After reading about the program, we had decided in our house that this is a unique and exciting opportunity, one we would have accepted. Good luck!!

Hi, I’m a parent of a former Gateway participant. I happened upon this thread (because I have a child applying to college right now) and thought I would share a few things.

Firstly, assuming you are reading this because you or your child was accepted into Gateway, congratulations. This means you are 100% qualified for Notre Dame, as are thousands of others who are waitlisted or rejected, and you now have a clear path to an ND degree. This is something that about 90% of the ND applicants cannot say.

For our child that went through Gateway, it was ultimately a positive experience. They are at Notre Dame right now and enjoying themselves. I believe ND has done a fantastic job in navigating Covid. They are making the best of a very challenging situation and we are extremely impressed and grateful.

Here are a few thoughts that I feel you should consider when contemplating Gateway:

The Good

The student ultimately gets their ND degree and has the opportunity to be an ND student for most of their college years (we have had many family members across multiple generations attend ND so we are one of those families). You also save money during freshman year (depending on financial aid, etc.). Also, I should note that the counselor for the Gateway students, Emily, was really great. Finally, the Gateway students are close-knit and have the considerable benefit of knowing students all across the ND campus when they arrive as sophomores.

The Caveats

  • The whole thing felt very transactional. This program puts over $.5M / year of extra income into Holy Cross coffers (Gateway fee, etc.). Other than the counselor, Emily (who was great), there felt to be very little interest in the Gateway students by the administrators.

  • It is very, very clear to the Gateway students that they are at Holy Cross, not Notre Dame. We felt that the administrators of the program do very little to make the students feel like they are part of Notre Dame. We give the program leaders a C- grade in both effort and results when it comes to making the students feel part of ND.

  • Putting aside the almost-guaranteed admission to Notre Dame in their sophomore year (and I understand that is extremely valuable), there is almost no benefit to the Gateway students beyond what is offered to other transfer students.

Further to this point, we feel they should consider things like:

  • Give Gateway students the opportunity to select their dorms and roommates, and allow them to do this at the same time that ND students are choosing their dorm rooms. At a very minimum, allow them to choose their own roommates and be assigned a dorm before the other transfers are given the same opportunity.

  • Maybe even consider getting the Gateway students exposed to their sophomore year dorm while they are still freshmen. That way they can start to develop relationships in their dorm and be part of that dorm’s community and other freshmen class members. Just help them feel more welcome and integrated with the community.

  • Give Gateway students access to the same college transfer opportunities as other Notre Dame freshmen (freshmen at ND are given a much greater opportunity to transfer into schools like Mendoza, for example, because the # of spots for Gateway is very limited and is solely based on GPA).

  • Give Gateway students the opportunity to select their sophomore year classes at the same time as other ND freshmen. Even if they can eventually get the classes they want, this is just one of many ways the Gateway program leaders painfully remind the Gateway students that they are definitely NOT ND students.

** Concluding Thought **

If your child has other amazing opportunities at other fantastic schools, as our child did, this is an extremely tough decision for them. We love ND very much, but we feel the GW program leaders are too transactional and just don’t do enough for or care enough about their students.

But … the fact is that we (parents) and our child (student) are happy with the decision despite the program’s lack of empathic leadership. Our child is very happy at ND, has met many great friends, knows people all across campus, and now feels well integrated with the university. No regrets.

This is a sample size of one and should not be considered as representative of the thoughts or experiences of any other student of parent.


My daughter applied REA and was deferred to the RD pool. On RD reveal day (Friday 3/26 at 18:42) her Notre Dame portal revealed a Gateway invite. She has signed up for the 3/30 info session, she joined the Gateway Group Me and we have planned a visit in April. Overall, she is excited about this unexpected opportunity. Good luck with your decision!!!

My daughter had the same - deferred REA then offered Gateway this past Friday. She felt that she was “basically rejected”, but I saw lots of good. We will be visiting 4/9. With ND having a successful in-person year, I had a feeling applications would be up, and it would be harder than ever to get accepted.

Let us know what you decide. Our visit is 4/16.

Will do! Good luck with your decision, as well.

Thank you for all of the information. We plan to visit as well. My daughter is looking for other 2025 students in the same boat. Is there a ND Gateway 2025 group on FB?

My daughter says there is a Gateway 9.0 Group Me. Our kids have been invited to join 9.0, as this is the 9th year for Gateway. My daughter got a text from someone in Gateway 8.0 the day after her RD timetable Gateway acceptance. That person sent her a QR code to join the Gateway 9.0 Group Me. From the Group Me for Gateway 9.0, my daughter got information about Snap Chat for Gateway 9.0 invitees. She has enjoyed getting to know the kids. I am pretty sure she said there are already around 70 people in the Group Me. Have your daughter reach out to the Gateway 8.0 student who contacted them (I think the acceptance letter said everyone would get contacted soon, my child got a text from her point of contact Saturday morning (acceptance was Fri night).

Thanks to you all for sharing this information on this thread - I had heard about this program. Question: Is this something you can choose to apply for, or is this a program the school selects you for without any other indication on your part during the application process?

Also, is there a trend or stats on the students who get accepted to the Gateway program?

ND selects/invites students to the Gateway program. You cannot apply for it.

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Here are a few informative links:

  1. Gateway Program - Holy Cross
  2. Gateway Program | Undergraduate Admissions | University of Notre Dame
    (click on list of topics in left column for information)
  3. The Gateway | Stories | Notre Dame Magazine | University of Notre Dame

We had not heard of Gateway. There is no box to check when applying to express interest. My daughter applied to Notre Dame REA. She got deferred. She immediately reached out to her admissions counselor confirming continued interest. Then, after winter break, she uploaded her updated transcript & resume and a letter confirming her continued interest. When RD decision day arrived, her portal invited her to join the 9.0 Gateway class. (Next year will be the 9th year the program has been in existence.). The day after she was accepted, she got two emails and an 8.0 Gateway class member reached out by text and then later that day they talked on the phone. The kids who have received the Gateway 9.0 invite are getting to know each other through a private group. So far, my daughter is feeling really good about this opportunity. There is a Zoom panel discussion tonight (5 days after acceptance) and the kids each get to pick from one of 4 visit dates in April, allowing them to visit Holy Cross in person to see and hear more about the Gateway program. Hope that helps!

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If anyone on this thread would like advice or has questions on Holy Cross/Notre Dame, I would love to field questions. I was not a gateway student, but was at Holy Cross for the past two years and am now a junior at ND. The gateway program, and Holy Cross in general, is awesome, and the kids I know who are now at ND with me loved it. Best of luck with everyone’s decisions. Go Irish!


Update: My daughter’s dream is Notre Dame. After the student panel on Tuesday night (which she watched from school), she drove home, announced she was ready to commit, invited us to join her at her computer and she committed to Gateway 9.0! Our home is full of peace and joy. Wishing you all the very best as you discern what is best for your seniors.
:shamrock::yellow_heart::blue_heart::green_heart::pray: Gateway 9.0 :pray::green_heart::blue_heart::yellow_heart::shamrock:




Peace and joy is a good feeling. I can’t comment on the Gateway program, but had a similar experience with my oldest daughter. She wanted to go to Navy and ended up being offered the Prep school option. For this it meant an extra year and her first inclination was one of pride as she had (like I am sure all of you) many amazing opportunities other than Navy. (Full ride to Purdue). But after long consideration, she ended up taking that spot and went on to go to the Naval Academy, and graduate in 2009. She is still active duty and they have sent her for her masters in engineering and she is a Lte. Commander living her dream. It was NOT the path she envisioned, but the end result was the same and maybe even better and what it was supposed to be. She had a smaller class that first year to get close to and really focus on any remediation that might be helpful. (For her, writing was not the best…engineering mind). She says she wouldn’t do it any different if she had the choice. If ND is your dream, then there are many paths. One isn’t better than the other. Glad your daughter is at peace with her decision. Go Irish.


You are too kind to take the time to write these encouraging words and to share your own child’s journey. Thank you. Wishing you the very best.

My daughter applied RD & was accepted into the gateway program. We will also be visiting on April 9th. She has chatted with multiple people in the Program currently & also been on the group me chats with other potential students. When you look at the actual statistics from the year it is perhaps the most difficult year for admission to ND. What they have posted so far is 23500 applications, they offered admission to 2300 students, which roughly is a 14.5% admit rate. So out of 20,000 rejected students, our children were offered a pathway to Notre Dame. (These are rough estimates)

Next year I will have a Junior at ND & a gateway 9.0 freshman. I encourage you if you are still trying to decide to watch the you tube video, read the info & talk to current students. Best of luck to everyone, & hop to meet may of you at the April 9th day.


Agree! I am so proud of all our kids. Here is what I have told friends & family…

The Covid 19 pandemic gave rise to a most unusual admissions year. The stats shine a light on how unlikely it was for this dream of my kiddo’s to come true…

•My child applied regular early action & was deferred to the regular decision pool & then offered Gateway. We 1st heard of Gateway in posts on College Confidential. Parent posts made us aware that Gateway was an admissions route to Notre Dame offered to a small group during both the regular early action & regular decision rounds.
•In total, ND accepted 3,446 & waitlisted 3,101 of the 23,639 who applied.
•Of the 1,712 deferred, only 145 were accepted on regular decision d-day.
•Our kids are among the 140 to whom Notre Dame offered Gateway, 80 of whom are expected to accept.

The college admissions process is humbling & character building. The process forces kids to practice faith - believing, persisting, letting go of control & trusting that, no matter what, the future will be bright & full of opportunity.

We are blessed to be able to let our kiddo even consider this pathway. Our senior was accepted into 9 honors programs all with merit scholarship offers intact. The scholar recruitment and merit $ helped her see that those schools valued her and wanted her and she could also see how the honors programs would make a bigger public school more intimate. For many, many families following the $, avoiding costs (time and financial) associated with attending schools far from home & going to a place where you feel recruited makes the most sense! My 1st child is at our state’s university which is located very close to our home. My eldest had out of state options, but the in-state option was clearly the best fit for that child. Staying in state also made the most sense for me at age 18. I was the oldest of 5. All 5 of us were able to graduate from college, but we all attended in-state public universities. So, I totally get why a private out-of-state school is not for all.

Despite all the positive vibes my senior received from other schools, we could see her wandering eye and sense her heart full of hope - anticipating a future at Notre Dame.

The kids who have been offered Gateway, whether they accept or not, should be so VERY proud of this achievement. Very few applicants got offered this option.

I feel pretty certain that most of the 3,000+ on the Notre Dame waitlist would much prefer to be in the shoes of our children than to sit and wait on that waitlist!

Our tradition is to decorate the kitchen with signs to celebrate birthdays. We have extended that tradition and this is the 2nd child we have decked the kitchen out for college decision day. My son’s signs celebrated his one college pick. For child #2, 1/2 of the signs celebrate year one at Holy Cross and the other 1/2 celebrate the hope of the final 3 years at Notre Dame. We are celebrating the whole Gateway acceptance and have gifted swag from both schools. We are full of hope that during year one of college as a Gateway 9.0 that our Class of 2021 high school senior will forge friendships for a lifetime.

Good luck with all of your decisions & congratulations to your amazing kids.