How do I qualify for the NDignite Connection program?

You need to have:
1) a recommendation and transcript from a school counselor or administrator, and
2) a grade point average that puts you in the top 5% of your class

We also consider the rigor of the courses you’ve taken as well as demonstrated peer leadership and self-motivation. Applicants should be in grades six or seven at the time the application is submitted.


How do I apply?

Our application cycle runs from March through mid-May.  When the application period is open, students may complete the application by clicking Apply Now in the navigation pane.  We’ll be in touch with our admissions decision in July.


What if I don’t think I want to attend Notre Dame in the future?

That’s ok! We’re always on the lookout for talented, motivated students to potentially join us on campus in the future. However, your participation in an NDignite Connection program does NOT require you to apply to or attend the University of Notre Dame if admitted. It’s our goal to help you find the best path for you!


How does the online program work?

Students watch the NDignite Connection broadcasts and then access their appropriate grade-level activity in our NDignite Connection Online Learning Center.   


What types of activities are available to NDignite Connection students?

NDignite Connection activities are designed to help students develop their character and leadership skills. Here are some examples of assignments students have completed in the past:

NDignite Connection Sample Assignment 1

NDignite Connection Sample Assignment 2


Are there any in-person events included in the NDignite Connection program?

Overall, the NDignite Connection program is offered completely online and does NOT include any in-person events. However, through our partnership with Notre Dame alumni in the Philadelphia, PA and Camden, New Jersey areas, local students participate in two to four face-to-face events each year. The service, educational and cultural activities typically take place at Gesu School in Philadelphia.

Students admitted to the NDignite Connection program are welcome to schedule a campus visit and are encouraged to visit our office during your trip. If you are interested in connecting with Notre Dame students, alumni and friends in your local area, click here to find a Notre Dame Club near you.


Does a family member need to be affiliated with the University of Notre Dame for me to join?

No, a family member does not have to be affiliated with Notre Dame for you to join the program.



How much does the NDignite Connection program cost?

NDignite Connection is offered at no cost to students. Occasionally, we will talk about opportunities that are available for students, which may have a cost associated with them. However, those opportunities will not be required for participation in NDignite Connection.


How much time does my child need to spend on the NDignite Connection program?

All NDignite Connection participants are expected to log into the NDignite Connection Online Learning Center six times per semester and watch a 30-minute NDignite Connection LIVE broadcast during each session. Following each broadcast, seventh and eighth grade students will be asked to complete a 45-minute activity related to the broadcast topic. Participants are expected to have 75% of their assignments completed by the end of each semester. The total estimated time commitment is seven to eight  hours per semester.

*NDignite Connection students in the Philadelphia and Camden areas are also expected to participate in at least two face-to-face events per year.


What’s the parent/guardian’s responsibility while my child is in the program?

All NDignite Connection students will need regular access to a computer with high-speed internet for online participation.

*If your child is in the Philadelphia and Camden areas, you’ll need to provide transportation to and from the face-to-face events.


I can’t pay for my child to go to a university like Notre Dame later. Does that matter?

We want you and your student to know that attending a highly-selective college or university is within reach. Most offer significant financial aid for students who are admitted and have demonstrated financial need. No matter your personal financial situation, your high-performing student has many options available. It’s our goal to help find the best fit for your student — whether that’s Notre Dame or not. Find out more about the University of Notre Dame's Office of Financial Aid by clicking here.


What kind of results can we expect from the NDignite Connection program?

Counselors have told us that they’ve found their students to be more confident in themselves, knowledgeable on topics that matter to them, and more driven to help those around them. Students also have a better understanding of what campus life is like at a highly-selective university.


Do we have to commit to both years of the program?

Commitment is very important, and we expect students to give a 100% effort to the program. However, we understand schedules, activities, and priorities change. A student may decide that this program is not for him or her. We would ask that you contact our office to notify us of any changes.


How can my child apply?

Your child can apply online by clicking here and providing their counselor's name and email address.  Your child’s school counselor must provide a reference. If the counselor hasn’t heard about the NDignite Connection program yet, please encourage them to contact our office at (574) 631-6697 to learn more.