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Gateway Program

75 students. 2 Catholic institutions. 1 year that will change everything.

Gateway students at at eventEach year, the Notre Dame Office of Undergraduate Admissions invites select students from its applicant pool to enroll at Holy Cross College for their first-year, with a guaranteed transfer to Notre Dame as sophomores. These 75 students are part of the Gateway Program.

Gateway Program participants take courses at Holy Cross and Notre Dame, participate in student life on both campuses, and are expected to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA. Previous Gateway students have shared diverse and formative experiences, including

  • Studying abroad in China, Germany, Israel, Italy, and South Africa in the summer after their Gateway year
  • Interning, conducting research, and participating in service immersions across the country
  • Playing golf, tennis, soccer, and intramural sports
  • Honing their leadership skills in Holy Cross’s Campus Ministry and Student Government Association
  • Taking advantage of countless opportunities at Notre Dame, like Marching Band, ROTC, mission trips, theatre productions, and the Student International Business Council

“I wouldn’t trade my Gateway experience for the world! Even though I didn’t expect to be at Holy Cross during my freshman year, being a part of both the Holy Cross and Gateway communities proved to be an absolute blessing that led to many irreplaceable friendships, memories, and experiences that I will cherish for years to come.” – Amanda Muhr, Gateway 8.0, Notre Dame Class of 2025

Admission to the Gateway Program is invitation only.
There is no application for the Gateway Program other than a first-year application (Common Application or Coalition Application) to Notre Dame, nor can you indicate interest in the Gateway Program on the first-year application. The program size is purposefully limited to ensure personal attention and one-on-one advising.

If you’ve been selected for the Gateway Program, an invitation will be included in your Notre Dame application decision release. Students will be selected from both the Restrictive Early Action applicant pool and the Regular Decision pool.


Students will work with their Holy Cross academic advisor to select courses at both Holy Cross and Notre Dame to stay on track for their intended major(s) and explore various academic disciplines.

At Holy Cross:
Students will choose four courses each semester from a select list in the following disciplines: art, economics, English, history, math, natural sciences, quantitative sciences, philosophy, political science, psychology, Spanish, and Theology.

At Notre Dame:
Students will choose one course each semester at Notre Dame. In addition, students will take two semesters of the one-credit Moreau First Year Experience course to fulfill Notre Dame’s first-year requirement.


Confirming enrollment
If you’ve received an invitation to join the Gateway Program, confirming your enrollment requires a few steps:

  1. Accept the invitation to join by completing the “intend to enroll” form provided in your Notre Dame admission decision portal. After completing this form, your application materials will be securely sent to Holy Cross for processing.
  2. Watch your email for a link to your Holy Cross Applicant Portal. There, you’ll be able to confirm your intention of enrolling at Holy Cross by submitting an online confirmation form followed by paying an enrollment deposit. It may take up to one week after submitting the “intend to enroll” form before the online confirmation form is available within your portal.
  3. Have your final high school transcript sent to Holy Cross as soon as it’s available.
  4. If you have not provided Notre Dame with your verified ACT and/or SAT scores, be sure to have these scores sent to Holy Cross College using code 1308. You’ll also want to send official AP score reports to Holy Cross as soon as they are available.

Complete step one on or before May 1 to guarantee a spot in the Gateway Program. After May 1, students who remain on Notre Dame’s waiting list may be offered invitations to join the Gateway Program if space allows.


Financial aid
Financial aid for the Gateway Program is limited. To be considered for need-based financial assistance, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Add Holy Cross College’s Federal School Code (007263) to ensure the FAFSA is sent to our Office of Financial Aid by April 6, 2024.

The FAFSA is the only application necessary to be considered for need-based assistance at Holy Cross College. Even if you have submitted the FAFSA to Notre Dame, it must be separately submitted to Holy Cross.

Upon review of your FAFSA, a financial aid notification will be sent to your email address within 2 weeks. Review the financial aid notification carefully and take note of deadlines and next-steps required to secure your financial assistance offers. Due to the nature of the program, Gateway students are not eligible for Holy Cross merit scholarships, including Signature Scholarships and named scholarships. Please reach out to [email protected] with any personal questions about financial aid.

Not all federal assistance is need-based. Completing the FAFSA may make you eligible for certain loans that do not require demonstrated financial need, such as the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). To review these loan options, visit studentaid.ed.gov.

Students invited to the Gateway Program are encouraged to complete an estimate of their financial aid eligibility at Notre Dame using the MyinTuition quick college cost calculator, which will provide three likely scenarios of the financial aid you may receive.

Families also may use the Notre Dame Net Price Calculator. This tool requires more information and provides an estimated family share amount and an estimated financial aid decision.

Notre Dame financial aid counselors are available to answer your questions. To be considered for need-based financial assistance at Notre Dame, you will need to submit both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile in the spring of your first-year at Holy Cross.

Notre Dame is committed to meeting 100% of each student’s demonstrated financial need, including all Gateway students following a successful transfer from Holy Cross to Notre Dame. Like other transfer students, Gateway students are not eligible for merit scholarships while enrolled at Notre Dame.


Housing at Holy Cross
Gateway students are required to live on campus at Holy Cross. To secure your room, you must complete the 2024-2025 housing application, which gives you the option of requesting a specific roommate and/or ranking your preferred residence hall placement. Those who indicate roommate requests and/or hall preferences and meet the May 1 confirmation deadline, which requires paying a housing deposit, will be entered in a housing lottery.

Housing requests will be honored based on lottery results and the availability of preferred rooms. Those who submit the housing deposit after May 1 will have requests honored as space allows and after the housing lottery placement is complete.


Housing at Notre Dame
Once officially admitted to Notre Dame, Gateway students (not exceeding 75) will be assigned to on-campus housing during the summer preceding their fall enrollment by Notre Dame’s Office of Residential Life.

On-campus housing is a requirement for all undergraduate students for their first six semesters, with transfer students receiving credit toward this requirement from semesters spent in degree-seeking programs at other Universities. Students are eligible to request an exemption after their first year on-campus. For more details about the Notre Dame residency requirement and housing application processes, please contact Notre Dame’s Office of Residential Life at [email protected]


International students
All international students are required to submit a Certification of Finances with supporting documentation confirming the reported sources of funding for one year of enrollment at Holy Cross College in the Gateway Program. An I-20 will not be issued until this form is received. The Certification of Finances and supporting documentation can be uploaded via the Holy Cross Applicant Portal (preferred) or submitted as a PDF document via email.


Transfer agreement
Guaranteed transfer admission requires all grades earned at Holy Cross College and Notre Dame be a B or higher and a final cumulative GPA at least 3.5, calculated with the grades earned in the eight courses at Holy Cross, the two selected courses at Notre Dame, and the Moreau First Year Experience course.


Q: Why was I selected for the Gateway Program?
A: The Gateway Program is a highly selective program for students who have demonstrated a strong fit with the missions of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College. Gateway students positively contribute to the academic, social, and faith communities of both campuses.

Q: What types of courses will be a part of my first-year experience?
A: Students are expected to maintain full-time enrollment at Holy Cross College (12 credit hours) in a personalized curriculum co-designed by the academic officers at Notre Dame and Holy Cross.

Students will enroll in one course each semester at Notre Dame based on their future academic track after transferring. Gateway students will also enroll in the Moreau First Year Experience course both semesters. For questions about course selection, please contact [email protected].

Q: Can I use AP exam results for college credit?
A: Gateway students follow Notre Dame’s AP policy. AP credit can be applied to your Notre Dame transcript, but the credit will not be used to satisfy Notre Dame core curriculum requirements. You may contact Aurelia Wishart with questions about AP credit application.

Q: How do meals work between Holy Cross and Notre Dame?
A: Included with on-campus housing for Gateway students is enrollment in an “any hall” meal plan for use at Siegfried Dining Hall and the dining halls at Notre Dame. This meal plan also includes Basil Bucks, which serves as a flexible extension of the meal plan.

You will be able to use Basil Bucks for food and drink purchases at our Ave Brew Café (proudly serving Starbucks coffee!) as well as cafes and restaurants at Notre Dame.

Q: How do students get back and forth between campuses?
A: Many students find a bicycle helpful; secure stations for bike parking can be found on all three campuses. The “Sweep” is another great option. This bus is free for all tri-campus students with a student ID. Additionally, campus security offers rides to and from campuses upon request. Notre Dame’s SafeBouND program is available for students upon request.

All Holy Cross first-year students, including Gateway students, are permitted to have a car and must register it with our security office during the first week of classes. There is currently no charge to have a car on campus.

Q: Will my roommate also be in Gateway?
A: Students are welcome to list a preferred roommate on their Holy Cross housing application. Our Residence Life office makes every effort to ensure at least one roommate is another member of the Gateway Program. In residence halls where single occupancy rooms are an option (Basil and James), Gateway students room near others to ensure an intentional community is created across all residence halls.

Q: When will I find out about my housing assignment?
A: Holy Cross will begin releasing housing assignments via the Holy Cross Student Portal in mid-July.

Q: Where should I send my final high school transcripts?
A: A final high school transcript must be sent to Holy Cross College. A copy will be forwarded to Notre Dame’s Office of Admissions as part of the transfer process.

Q: What is the schedule for Welcome Weekend?
A: Attendance at Holy Cross College Welcome Weekend (fall orientation) is required of all Gateway students. A full schedule of events will be shared over the summer.

Q: When will I find out about ND football tickets?
A: Gateway students will have the same opportunity as all Holy Cross students to enter the Notre Dame Football student ticket lottery to purchase season tickets. Typically, Notre Dame season football tickets for Holy Cross students become available during the middle of August. You will receive an email sent to your HC account from our Dean of Students with detailed instructions on how to enter the lottery.

Although all students who want tickets have typically had the opportunity to purchase them, availability is not guaranteed. All first-year students from the tri-campus sit together in the “freshmen” section in Notre Dame Stadium.

Q: What health/wellness services are offered at Holy Cross?
A: Health, Counseling, and Academic Services are all available to students. If you have any questions please consult hcc-nd.edu/studentwellness/ or contact Tom DeHorn. You’re required to fill out a medical insurance waiver during the enrollment/registration process to verify you are in compliance with our mandatory health insurance standards; failure to submit this form may result in the college purchasing student health insurance on your behalf and an added charge to your student billing statement.

Q: Do I need to get a physical before school starts?
A: No, but your shot records need to be up-to-date. It is recommended, however, if you are going to be playing a club sport. Learn more about pre-enrollment medical requirements.