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College Counseling

A Notre Dame student starts the journey of finding the right college during his freshman year. By the beginning of his senior year, he is prepared to take the lead in the process of finding the school that best fits his needs academically and socially. As a result of partnership in the search process between the student and the school, our students attend some of the finest colleges and universities and go on to become highly successful during their college careers.

During his four years at Notre Dame, the college counselors will work with the students to help them develop the skills necessary to be successful in their post-secondary careers. This is done through:

  • Self-assessment – The college process is a growth experience that offers students the opportunity to examine and learn about their strengths, weaknesses, values and goals in life.
  • Resume Building – At the start of their freshman year students are encourage strongly to become involved in the school community through extra-curricular activities, community service, athletics, and fine arts programs.

  • Self-advocacy – Through their four years we nurture them to become independent learners.  By senior year the student plays the principle role in the college selection process, the student takes the lead in creating a viable list of schools, then taking the next step of visiting the schools, deciding where to apply, completing the applications, and deciding where to enroll.  The college counselors work as guides in this process.

College Planning Video

College Planning Q&A

College Planning Timeline


  • Attend School Counselor’s information session on the College Application process

  • Fill out the Notre Dame’s College Data Form

  • Students schedule individual post-high school planning meetings with School Counselor

  • Schedule remaining college visits and interviews

  • Meet with college representatives in the School Counseling Conference Room; visit dates posted on Naviance

  • Finalize college list and update it in Naviance

  • Attend the Financial Aid Application Presentation

  • Write personal essay in English class

  • Request teacher recommendations through Naviance

  • If appropriate, research scholarship opportunities

  • For prospective Division I and Division II athletes, register with NCAA Clearinghouse and send test scores

  • Make a chart indicating each school’s deadlines, testing requirements and other attributes

  • Review your transcript for accuracy


  • Complete early action/early decision applications and essays

  • Request official SAT and/or ACT scores to be sent to the college you are applying to

  • File FAFSA online

  • Check if your college requires CSS/Profile Form for financial aid and complete if required

  • Check with college regarding possible scholarships

  • Continue to meet with college representatives in the School Counseling Conference Room; visit dates posted on Naviance

  • Take SAT test, subject area tests and/or ACT test


  • If required, request 1st quarter grades to go to Early Decision/Early Action/Rolling colleges

  • Write thank you notes to Notre Dame teachers who have written your letters of recommendation

  • Early applicants: confirm colleges have received all your application materials

  • Complete regular decision applications


  • If appropriate/needed, take the December SAT Test/Subject Area Test/ACT test.

  • All application need to be submitted before the school goes on Christmas Vacation


  • Notify the School Counselor of Early Decision/Early Action/Rolling results

  • “Ace” first semester exams


  • Check email daily


  • Attend Accepted Student Days at the colleges you are thinking of attending

  • Make your choice by May 1st

  • Tell your School Counselor what college you are attending



  • Join club or organization – Become involved in the school community


  • Take the PSAT/NMSQTs
  • Monitor grade carefully – First marking period ends
  • Update your resume


  • Review PSAT results – Sign up for Kahn Academy (Free SAT Prep Software Program)


  • Attend Junior College Planning Evening
  • Plan appropriate testing schedule; register for the SATs, ACTs and /or Subject Tests
  • Attend counselor college planning sessions for juniors
  • Session 1: Self-assessment and Registering for testing
  • Session 2: The Essentials of the College Search
  • Session 3: The Application Process
  • Begin developing a preliminary list of colleges
  • Register for the NCAA Clearinghouse (if appropriate)


  • Review the Course Catalog and start planning courses for your senior year
  • Start planning college visits with your family


  • Start visiting colleges
  • Individual family meetings with your School Counselor


  • Take the SATs
  • Review the suggested College List with your family
  • Consider asking a junior year classroom teacher to write a college recommendation letter for you


  • Continue College Visits
  • Prepare for the SATs through Kahn Academy
  • Register for the Common Application (found online August 1st)
  • Review your social networking websites for appropriate content
  • Brainstorm essay topics and write initial essay draft
  • Update your resume
  • Register for SATs and/or ACTs

Meet the Team

Greg Diaz

Greg Diaz

School Counselor
Dominick Mastriano, Jr. '86

Dominick Mastriano, Jr. '86

Director of School & College Counseling
“My favorite part of teaching at ND is witnessing the maturation of young boys who enter as freshmen, and graduate as confident and compassionate men. These four years are incredibly transformative.”  Carmen Gunneson, Faculty & Chair, Foreign Language Department

College Visit Tips