The Ivy Coach Daily

December 11, 2023

What To Do After Being Deferred by Notre Dame

The Main Building with its Golden Dome, is featured at the University of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame typically denies many more applicants than it defers in the Restrictive Early Action round (photo credit: Matthew Rice).

Were you deferred in the Early Action round to Notre Dame’s Class of 2028? If so, all hope should not be lost. After all, Notre Dame is the alma mater of Rudy Ruettiger — you’ve got to march on to victory (though we hope you didn’t write about him or Notre Dame football at all in your Notre Dame essays)! So, what does a Notre Dame deferral mean in context, and what can you do to give yourself the best shot of earning admission to the university in the Regular Decision round? Let’s dive in!

Notre Dame Early Action Admission Statistics

Below are the Restrictive Early Action admissions statistics for Notre Dame over the last six years. The trend? REA applications are rising and the corresponding admission rate is dropping. For the Notre Dame Class of 2028, a record number of students applied REA to Notre Dame and the institution admitted a historically low percentage. Around 70% of admits are expected to enroll.

Notre Dame Class YearNumber of Early Action ApplicationsNumber of Early Action AcceptancesEarly Action Acceptance Rate
Class of 202811,4981,72414.99%
Class of 202711,1631,70115.24%
Class of 20269,6831,67517%
Class of 20257,7441,67321.6%
Class of 20247,2951,54021%
Class of 20237,3341,53420.92%

Notre Dame Deferral Rate

Notre Dame doesn’t typically release the percentage of students deferred during an Early cycle. However, the school did release the number of deferred Early Action candidates to its Class of 2026. That figure, along with the deferral and denial rates for that year, are below (isn’t it incredible all the data points one can glean when a school publishes a single number?):

Notre Dame Class YearNumber of Early Action ApplicationsNumber of Early Action AcceptancesEarly Action Acceptance RateNumber of Early Action DeferralsNumber of Early Action DenialsDeferral RateDenial Rate
Class of 20269,6831,67517%1,5996,40916.51%66.19%

5 Steps to Take After Being Deferred by Notre Dame

  1. Do some breathing exercises. Before you fixate on what you can do to improve your odds of admission to Notre Dame in Regular Decision, you need to take a breath and clear your head.
  2. Sign up for a complimentary consultation with Ivy Coach to understand our go-forward services for deferred candidates.
  3. Endure a PostMortem application review with Ivy Coach. It’s not fun to hear what went wrong, but it’s important you understand what we will focus on and what we won’t focus on in your Letter of Continued Interest. Additionally, you can still fix mistakes on your yet-to-be-submitted Regular Decision applications.
  4. Send in a compelling Letter of Continued Interest to Notre Dame. In a word, Ivy Coach’s love letters are weird. It’s a big reason they’re so often effective for deferred candidates to Notre Dame.
  5. Ask your school counselor to make an advocacy call on your behalf in the New Year. Some school counselors will refuse to make such calls, but good school counselors will pick up the phone and call Notre Dame to fight for you. And you’ll want to share your Letter of Continued Interest with your counselor so they present you as you presented yourself after your deferral.

Notre Dame Deferral FAQ

Is a deferral from Notre Dame meaningful?

Yes, Notre Dame historically denies most applicants. As evidenced by the Early Action round of the Notre Dame Class of 2026, 66.19% of candidates were denied admission, while only 16.51% were deferred. As such, a deferral at Notre Dame carries real weight, unlike at some other top universities.

As Notre Dame’s admissions committee writes of a deferral, “Being deferred is not the end of the admissions process. With a highly competitive applicant pool, we are very serious about which students we choose to defer, and we only do so if we feel that they will be competitive later in the process.”

Does Notre Dame accept, defer, or deny most Early Action candidates?

Notre Dame denies most Early Action candidates. The school tends to accept about the same percentage of Early Action candidates as it defers in a given Early cycle.

Does Notre Dame explicitly ask for a letter after a deferral?

Yes, as the school writes on its website, “You may also write a letter of desire explaining why you believe Notre Dame is the best school for you. You may upload the letter to your applicant status portal so we can be sure to add it to your admissions file. This letter of desire is a great opportunity to tell the admissions committee a little bit more about yourself and to explain why you would love to attend Notre Dame.”

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Your Notre Dame Deferral

If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission post-deferral to Notre Dame, fill out Ivy Coach’s complimentary consultation form, and we’ll be in touch to outline our services for deferred candidates.

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