4 Tips for Writing Amazing Notre Dame Essays


The University of Notre Dame is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It attracts the best and brightest students from around the country—in fact,

38% of the student body ranked in the top 1% of their high school graduating classes

! Because most applicant have amazing grades and transcripts,

your Notre Dame application essays will be one of the most important ways for you to stand out from the crowd!

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about writing Notre Dame’s application essays.

First, we’ll give you an overview of the Notre Dame supplement. Then we’ll walk you through each essay individually and answer the following questions:

  • What is the essay asking you to do?
  • What makes for a good answer?
  • What are some potential essay topics?
  • Are there pitfalls you should avoid?

And finally, we’ll give you

four top tips for taking your Notre Dame essays to the next level.

So let’s get started!

Why Are the Notre Dame Application Essays Important?

The hard truth is that getting into

Notre Dame

is tough. Only

19% of applicants in 202

0 were accepted, which makes

Notre Dame even harder to get into

than schools like

Georgia Tech




And because Notre Dame attracts top talent, admitted students also boast excellent standardized test scores. In fact, the average Notre Dame student

scored between a 1420–1530 on their SAT


a 33–35 on their ACT


So what kind of applicants get admitted? According to the

Notre Dame Office of Undergraduate Admissions


Notre Dame is looking for well-rounded, passionate students who excel in the classroom and are involved in the community.

Here’s how Notre Dame sums up the importance of the essay portion of your application:

Your essays are the most enjoyable part of the application reading process. Why? Because we learn about important decisions you’ve made, adventures you’ve survived, and lessons you’ve learned, family traditions you’ve experience.

In other words, admissions counselors want to know that if you’re admitted, you’ll make the most of your time at Notre Dame—both inside and outside the classroom

The Notre Dame essays are your chance to show admissions counselors that you’re the whole package, especially since Notre Dame does not conduct admissions interviews. That means

your essay responses will be one of your only opportunities to show admissions counselors that you’re an excellent fit for their university



Let’s take a closer look at the Notre Dame supplement, which you’ll have to fill out as part of your overall application.

An Overview of the Notre Dame Supplement

The Notre Dame supplement is available through either the

Common App

or the

Coalition App


The Common App and the Coalition App are online platforms that let you apply to multiple colleges at once. If you aren’t sure what they are or how to use them,

check out our guides to filling out the Common App


the Coalition App

, which include tips for tackling the personal essays!

Here’s where things get a little bit tricky:

the Notre Dame supplement is submitted

in addition to

the application you have already filled out.

That means you will be submitting additional essays specific to Notre Dame on top of the essays you’ve written for your universal application package. That’s why it’s called the

Notre Dame


The 2 Parts of the Notre Dame Supplement

The supplement itself asks you to write and submit three additional essays, which are split into two groups:

  • First, there’s the

    mandatory essay

    . This is the prompt that everyone who applies to Notre Dame


  • For your next two essays, you’re given the

    choice between five prompts and must answer two.

The online portals give you a maximum of 200 words to respond to each prompt. That’s not very much space! But remember: your admissions essays are about




Now that you have a general sense of the Notre Dame supplement, let’s take a closer look at each essay topic.


Essay 1: “Why Notre Dame?”

The founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau, wrote, “We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.” How do you hope a Notre Dame education and experience will transform your mind and heart?


this essay topic is


which means you must answer it to complete the supplement. But don’t worry…we’re going to walk you through the process!

What Is the Essay Asking You to Do?

This prompt is essentially the “Why This College?” question.

This is a common supplemental essay question designed to

help admissions counselors understand why Notre Dame—and literally no other university!—is the perfect school for you.

The “Why Notre Dame” prompt also serves another purpose: it helps they want to get a sense of how you, as both a student and as a person, will contribute to the Notre Dame community.

In answering this question,

your job is to show admissions counselors that you’re the perfect fit for Notre Dame, and visa versa.

What Makes for a Good Answer?

If you want to knock this essay out of the park, here’s what you should do.

#1: Do your homework.

The key to writing an amazing “Why Notre Dame?” essay is showing admissions counselors that you’ve really dug into the resources and opportunities available at the school.

Doing this proves you’re more than interested—it shows you’re passionate and motivated, too.

As you research, look at specific classes you might be interested in taking and/or professors you might want to research under. (

Here’s a list of all the colleges and departments at Notre Dame to get you started

!) For example, if you want to program the next Alexa, you’ll want to mention

taking classes like Artificial Intelligence and Software Development Practices

. Or if curing cancer is more your thing, you can mention

working with Dr. Jessica Brown

, who is researching RNA to better understand how cancer works.

#2: Not sure what you want to major in yet? No problem.

This is a common question we get when it comes to the “Why This College?” essay. The simple answer is: it’s okay to not know! Admissions counselors know that your major isn’t set in stone, but they


want to see that you’re thinking about the future. Even if you’re not 100% certain about what you want to do in the future,

pick a potential academic field for the sake of writing this prompt.

#3: Plan to address the “head” and the “heart.”

You probably already noticed that the application prompt very specifically mentions two concepts: the “head” and the “heart.” Notre Dame is a religiously affiliated institution, and while they don’t require all students to be religious, part of their core mission is to foster “the development…of those disciplined habits of mind, body, and spirit.”

So in your response, you need to make sure you’re doing more than just talking about how Notre Dame will shape you academically.

Admissions counselors also want to see how the school will shape you as a person.

You’ll have to address both of these things in order to accurately answer the prompt!

#4: Don’t overlook the Notre Dame community, either.

The prompt specifically asks you about how the Notre Dame experience will impact you, which means

admissions counselors want to know more about how you’ll fit into the Notre Dame community.

For instance, if you were in theatre in high school, you might want to participate in

Shakespeare at Notre Dame

! Also, many departments have their own student organizations (like the

American Studies Club


Beta Gamma Sigma

, a business honors society). Make sure you check departmental pages for this information.

One quick note about religion: Notre Dame is a Catholic university, so many of


ts community programs are religiously affiliated


Unless you’re serious about becoming a member of one of these groups, don’t mention it in your essay.

Admissions counselors read thousands of applications every year, and they will know if you’re being sincere!

#5: Start narrowing things down.

Now that you’ve done your research and have a list of classes, professors, programs, and extracurriculars,

choose the two or three things that stand out most.

You only have 150 words, so you need to give yourself space to talk about the items you’ve chosen!


Relate your topics to your goals


Remember, your job is to show admissions counselors that Notre Dame is the only school for you.

Explain how the classes, programs, and activities you’ve mentioned will put you on the path to achieve your goals while growing as a person.

For example, if you want to study adolescent psychology, explain how your coursework and experience at Notre Dame will help you go on to research how social media affects adolescents’ brain development.

By making it personal, you’ll be able to emphasize how Notre Dame is the only place that can set you on the path to success.

What Are Some Potential Essay Topics?

Along with the examples we mention earlier in this section,

here are a few other topics you might consider for this essay:

  • Talk about how you hope to contribute to a specific ongoing research project with professor in your department.
  • Explain your future career goals and mention how joining specific campus organizations will help put you on the path to success.
  • Discuss how you want to take classes in two departments in order to think about a problem in your future profession in new ways.

Are There Pitfalls You Should Avoid?

Avoid these mistakes so you don’t leave the wrong impression with admissions counselors.

#1: Avoid generalities.

Make sure you’re being as specific as possible about what makes Notre Dame special. Don’t just say you’re excited to attend because of the school’s study abroad programs—most, if not all, major colleges in the United States offer study abroad. What


programs does Notre Dame offer that you can’t find anywhere else?

The same goes for talking about your career interests. Don’t say that you want to stop climate change. How do you want to do that? How will specific classes, professors, and research opportunities at Notre Dame help you save the world?

#2: Leave sports out of it.

We know, we know: part of the appeal of Notre Dame is joining the legion of Fighting Irish. But unless you’re joining one of the athletic teams, focus on academics and career/service opportunities instead.

#3: Don’t sound bored.

The question asks about what makes you


to attend Notre Dame, so let your passion show through in your writing.


Essays 2 and 3: Choose Your Prompts

For this section of the Notre Dame essay supplement, you’re given four different essay prompts.

Your job is to choose and answer two.

Keep in mind that the word limit for these prompts is the same, which means you’ll only have 200 words for each answer.

How to Choose Your Prompts

For some people, choosing the prompts is the hardest part! There are a few things you can do to make this easier.

#1: Choose prompts that let you share new information.

Go through the list and rule out any prompts that you’ve already discussed as part of your Common App or Coalition App. Some of the Notre Dame supplement essays involve talking about similar topics to the Common App and Coalition App essay prompts.

Make sure you choose Notre Dame essay prompts that let you talk about something fresh and new!

#2: Brainstorm every prompt.

Take an afternoon and write down potential ideas for every prompt below. Don’t worry about whether the ideas are good or not—just write them down! Once you’re done, take a look at which prompts give you the opportunity to share something new that you haven’t already mentioned in your application.

#3: Read ahead.

Take a minute to read through the Notre Dame essay example topics below. See if any of the ideas or strategies jump out to you!

Now let’s take a closer look at each prompt and how to answer them.

Option 1: The Post-Grad Service Question

A Notre Dame education is not just for you, but also for those who will benefit from the impact you make. Who do you aspire to serve after you graduate?

What Is This Essay Asking You to Do?

This essay question is asking you to prove that you’re able to

think beyond how your Notre Dame education will benefit you to imagine how it will benefit others, too


To answer this question, you’ve got to think ahead. Consider your current passions and interests in terms of academics and extracurriculars. Then, take a step back and

think about how your passions and interests can be used to serve others

. Your response to this question should show that you’ve thought about specific ways that you can use your Notre Dame education to help others after you graduate.

What Makes a Good Answer?

#1: Start with your goals.

You don’t have to have your entire life planned out in order to respond to this prompt. A general idea of what you want to learn as a Notre Dame student can help you write a stellar response to this question. Describing your vision for your educational path at Notre Dame sets the groundwork for explaining who you want to serve after graduating, and why your experiences at Notre Dame will equip you to do that.

#2: Explain the “how.”

It’s important to make a connection between your Notre Dame education and who you intend to serve after graduating. You can do this by explaining


your education will equip you to serve a particular demographic in a specific capacity.

This part of your response doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as explaining how everything you learn in your social work and software engineering courses will give you the tools you need to offer a free summer coding camp for students in your local community after you graduate. In this type of response,

be clear and specific about how your Notre Dame education will benefit others.

#3: Identify your “who” and “why.”

Finally, you should clearly identify

who y

ou hope to serve. To do this,

try thinking about where you see a need that you can meet

using what you learn at Notre Dame. If there’s a particular demographic or organization that you’re passionate about and you know they would benefit from a person with your educational background, that’s even better.

Going back to the coding example above, maybe you’re from a less privileged background and have seen your classmates struggle in math and science. You want to address that need in your local community by offering them a fun and accessible way to develop science and math-related skills. No matter who you identify as the group you hope to serve post-grad, it’s best to be as specific as possible in this part of your response.

What Are Some Potential Essay Topics?

In addition to the free coding camp example above, here are two more potential topics you could mold into a stellar essay response:

  • A brief description of the values and knowledge you believe your nursing degree will equip you with, how you see those values serving others, and an explanation of how you will put those values into practice as a volunteer nurse with a medical missions organization after you graduate.

  • A brief description of the important connections you see between your intended double major in environmental studies and education, and how what you learn from these disciplines will prepare you to create a garden program at a school in your future community.

Are There Pitfalls you Should Avoid?

#1: Don’t be vague

. One major pitfall in answering this question is being too vague and general. For example, stating something like, “I hope to use my Notre Dame education to serve people experiencing homelessness after I graduate” isn’t specific enough. A more effective answer would explain what you specifically hope to do as a volunteer for this demographic and how a Notre Dame education equips you for this form of service.

#2: Don’t be illogical!

A second pitfall in answering this question is not making a connection between your learning goals at Notre Dame and your specific plan for serving others. For instance, writing about your eagerness to take classes in chemical engineering, then stating that you plan to use your Notre Dame education to be a volunteer English teacher for refugees may come across as confusing. Unless you explain how your education in chemical engineering will put you on the path to be a top notch volunteer English teacher, this connection won’t really make sense to the admissions committee.

Option 2: The Change the World Question

In response to the rising momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement during June 2020, G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean of the Notre Dame Law School, penned an open letter entitled, “I am George Floyd. Except I can breathe. And I can do something.” He issues a call to the Notre Dame community saying, “Each of us must do what we can, wherever we are.” What is one action you are taking “to change this world for the better?”

What Is This Essay Asking You to Do?

This essay prompt wants you to

show your awareness of your responsibility as a human citizen

. To do this, you’ll have to describe what you actively do, whether big or small, to change the world for the better.

This question isn’t necessarily asking you to write about racial justice specifically (though it is certainly inviting you to, if you choose to do so). But it’s probably safe to assume that the reference to George Floyd is prompting you to show that you’re aware of what’s going on in the world around you, and that you’re not afraid to step up to fight for change when you see a need.

Your “one action” doesn’t have to be something big and impressive, but it should be authentic and meaningful to you and others.

What Makes a Good Answer?

#1: Describe your “one action

.” To answer this question effectively, you have to get specific and descriptive. But that doesn’t mean your “one action” has to be huge and earth shattering! This could be anything from teaching your family about systemic racism, to raising awareness about the benefits of eating locally sourced food and observing Meatless Mondays at school. Whatever you decide to write about,

you need to pick


ongoing action and describe the specifics of what you’re doing.

#2: Describe its impact

. Once you explain what your “one action” is, take it a step further to describe any change you’ve seen—in yourself, in others, or in the organizations and communities you’re a part of—as a result of that action. You should also explain how those changes are beneficial. Again, it doesn’t have to be something huge: it could simply be that your group of friends decided to observe Meatless Mondays with you.

#3: Contextualize your action so it makes sense to readers

. Contextualize your “one action” in the place you live, and/or broader social issues that are relevant right now.

Doing this will reveal the “why” behind your choice to engage in the “one action” you describe in your response.

For example, maybe you live in a location that has experienced severe consequences of climate change, and that inspired you to advocate for changes in the way we eat. Providing that contextual info will also demonstrate that you’re aware of the issues in world around you.

What Are Some Potential Essay Topics?

You will ultimately need to use your own experiences to decide how to approach this essay, but here are two examples of topics that could make solid responses to this question:

  • Describe how you learned that race- and income-based voter suppression is common in your home state, so in order to help vulnerable voters, you worked as a student organizer to coordinate a voter registration drive at your high school.

  • Describe how you witnessed food insecurity in your community during the COVID-19 pandemic, so you decided to volunteer at a local food bank to distribute food to families in need.

Are There Pitfalls you Should Avoid?

#1: Forgetting to include context.

You need to connect your social action to your personal experiences. Make this a story! By personalizing your essay, you’ll better connect with your readers—and you’ll make a bigger impact.

#2: Not explaining the “Why.”

The second pitfall to avoid is describing what action you’ve taken, but not explaining why you’ve taken that action. Providing background on what led you to take a specific action will help show that your choices were thoughtful and intentional, not just so you’d have something flashy to put on college applications

#3: Leaving out the impact.

Finally, don’t forget to explain how your action changes the word for the better. While it may seem like the benefits of serving others or fighting for social justice are self-explanatory,

it’s important that you show your awareness of the impact of the action you’re taking.

Option 3: The God and a Good Life Question

God and the Good Life is an interdisciplinary course created by the departments of Philosophy and Film, Television, and Theatre that asks students to consider moral questions about what they believe and how they want to live their lives. What do God and a good life mean to you?

What Is This Essay Asking You to Do?

This essay is asking you to demonstrate how your attitudes, actions, and habits are informed by your unique understanding of the notions of God and a good life. (Remember: Notre Dame is a

religiously affiliated school


It may be tempting to read this question as asking you to provide a universal definition of God and a good life and defend it, but that’s not what’s going on here. Instead,

this question wants you to explain


understanding of God and a good life based on the beliefs you hold.

Then the prompt wants you to explain how those perspectives shape your life.

What Makes a Good Answer?

#1: Give your unique definition.

It’s crucial to put the definition of “God” and “a good life” into your own words in this essay response. A good answer to this question will sum up


understanding of God and a good life: what those concepts mean to you.

#2: Explain your why.

You also want to include a brief explanation of


you’ve arrived at the understanding of God and a good life that you described. If there’s some important experience, lesson, or insight that guided you to your definition of God and a good life, give a brief description of it here.

#3: Linking it to your real life.

You should also explain how your understanding of God and a good life impacts your behaviors, attitudes, and habits. In other words,

now that you’ve explained what God and a good life means to you, how does that inform your life choices?

Who and how do you strive to be based on your unique view of God and a good life? Providing this info will give Notre Dame admissions an idea of how you approach applying knowledge, beliefs, and values in your daily life.

What Are Some Potential Essay Topics?

Your response to this essay prompt will inevitably be subjective, but if you need some ideas, here are a couple:

  • Tell the story of an event in your life that you feel was morally important. Explain what you learned from that event and how it informs your specific understanding of God and a good life.

  • Describe a belief or virtue you hold that guided you through a challenging situation. Explain how that belief or virtue is the basis for your understanding of God and a good life, and discuss how it informs your life choices including during challenging times.

Are There Pitfalls you Should Avoid?

#1: Listing information instead of explaining it

. The biggest pitfall to avoid here is listing off a bunch of beliefs without explaining why they are important to you, how they inform your life choices, or how you arrived at those beliefs. The admissions committee isn’t looking to learn about every single belief you hold. Instead,

sum up a belief, idea, or claim that guides how you live your life

, then go into detail about why that belief/idea is important to you.

#2: Going on a rant

. A second pitfall to avoid is thinking you need to defend a particular religion or belief system. Instead, this question wants to know about your


experience, behaviors, and beliefs…not why you think others should adhere to your beliefs.

Option 4: The Favorite Tradition Question

Notre Dame has a rich history deeply rooted in tradition. Share how a favorite tradition from your life has impacted who you are today.

What Is This Essay Asking You to Do?

This essay prompt is asking you to

think creatively about the concept of tradition and interpret the meaning of traditions that are important to you.

Your answer to this question should reveal your personal experience and understanding of tradition. It should also show your ability to think critically about the relationship between existing traditions and how we grow and change as human beings.

What Makes a Good Answer?

#1: Get



. Lots of people have similar traditions—it’s all part of living in a shared culture. So, in order for your response to this prompt to really stand out,

you have to dig into the details of the tradition you’re writing about.

For instance, describing your family’s tradition of traveling to a different state in the U.S. to learn about that state’s history each summer would be more suited to this prompt than describing watching the Super Bowl with your family every year.

#2: Dive deep.

When the essay prompt asks you to “share how a favorite tradition has impacted your life today,” try to think about deeper impacts.

You’ll want to describe how this tradition has impacted your values, social actions, or future plans.

Make your response meaningful!

#3: Consider change

. It’s possible you felt one way about your family tradition when you were younger, but you have a new perspective on it now that you’re older.

Describing the changes in how you understand your tradition

is a great way to approach this prompt. For example, maybe your family trips all over the U.S. seemed boring as a kid, but now you realize they’ve helped you understand how everyone is connected through history…both the good moments and the bad ones. These could be good reflections to include in this response.

What Are Some Potential Essay Topics?

In addition to the examples listed above, you could consider one of the following topics:

  • Explain how your education has changed the way you view a particular family tradition, and the changes you have made in yourself that allow you to relate to that tradition in a positive way.

  • Describe a quirky tradition that you and your friends made up all on your own, and how inventing your own tradition and watching it evolve over time has taught you about the importance of tradition to human social relationships and culture.

Are There Pitfalls you Should Avoid?

#1: Don’t just summarize.

It’s important to avoid merely summarizing what your favorite tradition is. Instead,

describe the tradition in a strategic way that highlights its unique aspects

. The goal is to help admissions counselors better understand you as a person.

#2: Don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box.

Another pitfall to avoid is thinking about this question just in terms of family or major holidays. Think outside the box on this one: your favorite tradition could be something you invented with your high school friends, your sports team at school, or even something you did on your own. While family gatherings at the holidays might be important to you,

think creatively in order to identify the tradition from your life that sheds the most light on who you are now.

#3: Don’t forget the unique elements.

If you do decide to write about how your family celebrates a major holiday or other tradition that is widely celebrated,

be sure to hammer home the unique aspects of your family’s take on that tradition.

If there’s anything out of the ordinary or a bit eccentric about your family’s twist on a well-known tradition, highlight those details and explain what those quirky additions mean to you.

Option 5: The Joy Question

What brings you joy?

What Is This Essay Asking You to Do?

This essay prompt is asking you to describe something specific in your life that brings you joy, and why.

This prompt can be widely interpreted, but what Notre Dame admissions wants to know is

what’s unique about the thing that brings joy to your life.

They also want to know what that thing says about who you are as a person.

What Makes a Good Answer?

#1: Offer a unique spin on the prompt.

When brainstorming what to write about for this prompt,

think about something that brings you joy that isn’t super common

. If there’s something that you get excited about that people typically associate with you, that would be a good topic here. For instance, if your friends nicknamed you “overalls” because you get more excited about competing in the annual stock show than you do for summer break, that’s a good starting point for a response to this question.

#2: Get specific

. On this question,

you want to get into the details about the thing that brings you joy.

You wouldn’t just want to say “the annual stock show.” You’d want to explain how your love for livestock began on your family farm when you were very young, and how that joy has led you to compete in the annual stock show showing pigs every year. Maybe your joy has led you to help other kids enter the show, too! Giving details on why something brings you joy is an important part of writing this essay.

#3: Connect it to your future.

If the thing that brings you joy

connects to your academic plans, include it in your response.

For example, maybe your love of agriculture and animals has led you to indicate agricultural science and business as your intended double major. You can describe how this will set you up for a lifelong career of helping farmers learn best business practices—which will bring you joy for the long haul.

What Are Some Potential Essay Topics?

In addition to the example above, here are two potential response types that might work for this question:

  • You’ve always loved theatre, so you act in a local theatre troupe that puts on performances for the area’s schools and Boys and Girls club. At Notre Dame, you hope to continue your studies in the performing arts.

  • You grew up bilingual and love learning languages. You use your fluency in English and Spanish to volunteer as a reader at the local public library as a part of their literacy enrichment program for immigrant families and children.

Are There Pitfalls you Should Avoid?

#1: Avoid vague language.

It’s important to

be specific about what brings you joy

. For instance, you wouldn’t want to say that “seeing people living in harmony” brings you joy. That doesn’t give much insight into the day to day activities, relationships, and experiences of your life.

#2: Don’t be too general

. You don’t want to write about a topic that’s really common. For instance, writing about how Christmas brings you joy is a little too general. You’d want to really highlight the specific details of how


incorporate Christmas into your life, how it shapes who you are, and how the values you associate with Christmas will impact your future going forward.


4 Tips for Writing a Killer Notre Dame Essay

Follow these four tips to write a great Notre Dame essay that’ll show the school who you are and why they want to admit you.

#1: Be Authentic

You’re unique, with your own passions, experiences, and beliefs. Admissions counselors want to try to learn more about the “you” behind the transcript, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your essays.

Even more importantly, don’t try to fabricate stories about yourself that you think will impress the admissions board.

We guarantee that there are plenty of compelling things about you! Besides, admissions counselors have a finely tuned lie detector; they’ll know if you’re making things up.

Admissions counselors look to your essays to learn more about you. That’s why it’s important to be yourself! Here’s what the

Notre Dame Admissions website

has to say about being authentic: “Your essays are the most enjoyable part of the application reading process. Why? Because we learn about important decisions you’ve made, adventures you’ve survived, lessons you’ve learned, family traditions you’ve experienced, challenges you’ve faced, embarrassing moments you’ve overcome.”

#2: Deal With the Religion Question

Not everyone who gets into Notre Dame is religious, but it’s important to know that

some older demographic surveys show that

the student body is up to 85% Catholic

. Likewise, institutionally reported data indicates that a

student’s religious affiliation and/or commitment is considered in the admissions process

. So if you are religious and haven’t already mentioned that elsewhere, you might consider discussing it in your Notre Dame application essays.

But be careful!

Make sure you review Notre Dame’s




to make sure your answers align with the university’s beliefs.

Additionally, don’t beat a dead horse. Every response shouldn’t revolve around religion—Notre Dame is looking for well-rounded students with a variety of interests and passions.

And if you’re not religious,

don’t lie to try and make yourself a more appealing candidate.

Like we mentioned earlier, admissions counselors read thousands of applications every year. They’ll be able to tell if you’re being honest or not.

#3: Jump Right In

Abandon the long-winded introduction! You only have 150 words, so make every one count. To do that,

get right into your topic from the very first sentence.

If that feels weird, don’t worry: you can write a sentence or two of introduction to get you started, then delete it when you start revisions.

#4: Show, Don’t Tell

Use descriptive words to paint a picture for your reader. Don’t say “I was so nervous to sing in the talent show.” Instead, say something like, “My palms were sweaty and I thought I might faint, but I walked on stage and sang anyway.” One tells the reader what you did, and the other gives the reader a glimpse at your experience.


What’s Next?

Notre Dame is one of the top 20 colleges in the US

, so you know admission is competitive.

Using an acceptance calculator can help you better understand your chances of getting in


Notre Dame accepts both the Common App and the Coalition App. Not sure which one you should use?

Don’t worry:

we’ve got a handy-dandy guide to make your decision a breeze.

Both the Common App and the Coalition App require additional essays beyond the ones we discussed in this post.

(Yep, that means even more writing! Yay!) Thankfully, we have in-depth guides for both the

Common App essays

and the

Coalition App essays


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