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Commonly known for football but also highly ranked in academics, Notre Dame is a great investment in a variety of future careers—as long as you first know how to pay for it. Luckily, the university offers many flavors of merit and need-based aid, so be sure to do your research to maximize your aid awards and minimize your total bill at Notre Dame.

How much does it cost to attend Notre Dame?

Priced as you might expect given typical fees for top-ranked private colleges, undergraduate tuition for the 2016-2016 school year at Notre Dame was $47,929, and total expenses were estimated to be $64,775.

Unlike many schools, however, MBA tuition at the Mendoza School of Business at Notre Dame is very close to undergraduate tuition (it’s typical for this number to be quite a bit higher). Aspiring business executives paid $48,530 for 2015-2016 tuition, totaling close to $70,000 with all expenses.

A legal education at Notre Dame is slightly more expensive, with 2016-2017 tuition costing $53,812 and all expenses estimated to total $74,547.

If you’re planning to pursue another of Notre Dame’s 50+ graduate degree programs, check with your department for exact costs so that you know what you’ll be paying before jumping in.

What kind of financial aid does Notre Dame offer?

Undergraduates at Notre Dame may be awarded need and/or merit-based scholarships. The Notre Dame Scholarship is need-based and any accepted student who completes a financial aid application will be considered; the level of assistance, however, depends on both need and merit. A number of Notre Dame clubs also offer need-based scholarships, which may help to supplement an aid package. Students are also encouraged to research private and state-sponsored scholarships and grants, which will vary based on their state of origin.

As for merit-based undergraduate assistance, there are six programs that all first-time incoming freshman will be considered for. Students will be notified if additional materials are required for their application. The Notre Dame Scholars Award Program, for example, awards $25,000 per year for up to four years, and program participants also engage in leadership development activities. The remaining merit-based scholarships are of the same amount, apart from the Stamps Scholars Program, which covers full tuition and fees and gives students access to a $12,000 “enrichment fund.”

Mendoza MBA students aren’t likely to fare quite as well on the need-based side of things, but will be considered for dozens of fellowships and graduate assistantships that over 60 percent of students are awarded per year. Fellowships are granted in amounts from $5,000 to full tuition, and all except one require no additional application beyond the admissions application. Beyond MBA fellowships, students can look to private and federal student loans to fill the gap between merit-based aid and total expenses.

Law students at Notre Dame will be considered for both merit and need-based scholarships. Most merit scholarships require no extra application, but students are encouraged to submit an admissions application as early as possible. The Polking Family Fellowship is the only Notre Dame scholarship that requires a separate application – Fellows of this program will work closely with the Center for Ethics and Culture. Other aid options include external scholarships, student loans, and the Loan Assistance Repayment Program for students who accept positions in public interest or public service after graduating.

What kinds of extras should I expect to pay for at Notre Dame?

Notre Dame has no Greek life, instead assigning undergraduates to residence halls that act somewhat like fraternities and sororities. If you’re a big fan of social groups, this means you’ll reap the benefits without paying membership dues and the other costs associated with being part of the Greek system.

Students wishing to bring a car to campus can purchase a parking permit after completing one semester in good standing, so unlike some schools in major metropolitan areas, you won’t have to give up your car if you really don’t want to. That said, students report parking to be a bit of a trek from the main campus and claim a car isn’t necessary, so if you’re looking to save on gasoline, maintenance, and the other stresses of car ownership, perhaps considered leaving your car at home when you head to South Bend.

Lastly, consider travel expenses – to Fighting Irish away games, home for the holidays and summer, and perhaps even a winter vacation to thaw your bones if you’re not accustomed to midwestern winters. There is a smaller airport in South Bend, but depending on flight availability you might find yourself flying in and out of Chicago, which is about two hours west of campus.


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