What’s the difference between NDignite Connection and NDignite Connection 2.0?

NDignite Connection is a combination of in-person and online programming, and is available to students in the Philadelphia area. Face-to-face events typically take place at Gesu School in Philadelphia.

NDignite Connection 2.0 is based entirely online and is available to students regardless of their location.

How do I qualify for the NDignite Connection programs?

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 6 or 7 at the time the application is submitted.

How do I apply?

Our application cycle runs from late-February 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 join us on campus in the future. But your participation in an NDignite Connection program does NOT require you to apply to or attend the University of Notre Dame. It’s our goal to help you find the best path for you!

How does the online program work?

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

Additionally, NDignite Connection 2.0 students will have access to a private Google+ community. Here, students can connect with each other in a social, community networking environment — and with Notre Dame student mentors, faculty, staff, and alumni.

What types of activities are available to NDignite Connection 2.0 students?

NDignite Connection 2.0 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

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 do the NDignite Connection programs cost?

Both NDignite Connection and NDignite Connection 2.0 are 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 programs.

How much time does my child need to spend on the NDignite Connection Cities and 2.0 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 7-8 hours per semester. NDignite Connection students in the Philadelphia-area are also expected to participate in at least two face-to-face events per year.

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

If your child is involved in a local NDignite Connection program, you’ll need to provide transportation to and from the program location each month. For the NDignite Connection 2.0 program, your student will need regular access to a computer with high-speed internet for online participation.

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. So 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 programs?

Some counselors have told us that students become much more interested in attending a top college or university. They’ve also found that students become more confident in themselves, knowledgeable on topics that matter to them, and more driven to help those around them.

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?

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