Since 1851 Notre Dame San Jose has been providing an exemplary Catholic education to young women in the heart of downtown San Jose. We develop women of impact who are life-long learners, spiritual seekers, justice advocates and community leaders.
We welcome applications from students who identify as female as well as those who were assigned female at birth and are aligned with the women-centric mission of Notre Dame San Jose.
Each applicant is evaluated based on academic readiness and mission alignment.
Notre Dame High School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of education policies, admission policies, scholarships, loan programs, athletic or other school-administered programs.
Notre Dame does not have a program for international students and does not consider international applicants for admission to our school.
Eighth grade applicants for the Class of 2028 will receive decision notification emails after 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2024.
As part of the application process in Ravenna, each applicant will submit a collection of items across three categories:
- Academic components to demonstrate academic strengths and readiness for high school
- Personal components that provides insight into the student’s character, interests and values
- Family components that recognizes families as partners in their student’s education
Please attend our events during the fall to learn more about the application process and the Notre Dame experience. You can also find us on Ravenna. Email us at email@example.com or call us at (408) 294-1113 ext. 2165.
Notre Dame considers transfer applicants for 10th and 11th grade. We do not accept transfer students into 12th grade.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to apply as a transfer student.
Transfer Student Requirements:
- A's and B's on transcripts
- Academic letter of recommendation from a high school math teacher
- Academic letter of recommendation from a high school English teacher
- Graded writing sample from the current school year
- Character letter of recommendation from an adult mentor
- Student essays
Notre Dame’s commitment to promoting equity and student wellness begins in a family's experience of the admissions process. Research has evidenced biases within standardized testing as well as the overwhelming anxiety that it causes students. Ultimately, a standardized test score is not an accurate measure of student academic ability or potential. Therefore, the High School Placement Test is not a required component of the application process.
Notre Dame has a test optional admissions process, which allows students the choice to take the HSPT or to submit an academic sample of work that they feel demonstrates their ability and potential. Students may still opt to take the test and submit the results to Notre Dame.
Applicants for the incoming freshman class will submit two letters or recommendation:
- Academic letter of recommendation
To be completed by a middle school teacher, principal or academic team that can speak to the applicants academic strengths, areas of growth and potential.
- Character letter of recommendation
To be completed by a non-family member who can provide insight into the applicant's character, interests and values.
Requesting a letter (for applicants)
After submitting the application cover sheet in Ravenna and paying the $75 application fee, the application portal will allow students to digitally request a letter of recommendation from a teacher, mentor or coach.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Alternative Method (Please contact us first if you think you need to use this method.)
Students may print and request a letter of recommendation in hard copy by using these PDF forms:
Thank you for your interest in Notre Dame High School! The following are responses to frequently asked questions from applicants.
When should I start the application process?
Students applying to enter as freshmen should submit their application between October and December. The application opens Oct. 3, 2023 and the deadline is Dec. 12, 2023.
Transfer students typically apply between April and June for the fall term, however transferring to Notre Dame is subject to available openings. Interested students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the possibility of transferring.
What are the components of the application at Notre Dame?
The completed application serves as a way for students to gather a variety of items that showcase who they are and what they can do.
The academic section of the application includes:
- Middle school transcripts and test scores
- An academic letter of recommendation
- An example of academic strength and potential - whether that is the results of the High School Placement Test or an example of student academic work.
The personal portfolio includes:
- Student essays
- A character letter of recommendation
The family portfolio includes:
- Demographic information
- A parent statement
- The $75 application fee
Can I submit more than the required number of recommendation letters?
To complete the application, a student needs to submit one academic letter of recommendation and one character letter of recommendation.
Regarding the academic letter of recommendation,
- for eighth graders, the letter should be from a middle school representative (teacher, counselor or principal) who can speak to the applicant as a student
- for transfer students, a letter of recommendation is required from an English teacher as well as from a Math teacher
Regarding the character letter of recommendation, the letter should be completed by a non-family member who can provide insight into the applicant's character, interests and values.
Should a student wish to submit additional letters of recommendation, the applicant should email email@example.com to inquire about this process.
Should I take the High School Placement Test?
Whether a student decides to submit HSPT scores to Notre Dame for the academic portfolio is a choice for the student and family to make. Some students test very well and may feel that the test results will showcase that strength. Some students may be applying to the other high schools and choose to use the test for the admissions process at more than one school.
Notre Dame, along with the other Catholic High Schools in the Diocese of San Jose that use the High School Placement Test as part of the admissions process, will be administering the test. Student are encouraged to register to take the test through their first choice high school. Students wishing to test through Notre Dame will register through the application portal.
How do I register for the HSPT at Notre Dame?
Applicants may register for the HSPT in Ravenna.
When will I get my High School Placement Test results?
When taking the test, students designate which schools they would like to receive the results. The high schools receive those results directly from the Scholastic Testing Service and use the results as one academic indicator when considering applicants.
Notre Dame sends a summary of results by postal mail to families with the admissions decisions in March.
What would I submit instead of High School Placement Test results?
For students who choose not to take the HSPT as part of the application process to Notre Dame, a quality, academic sample should be submitted instead. Students should identify work that they feel showcases their academic strengths and potential. The only requirement is that it is the student’s original work and that it can be uploaded digitally to the online application. For more information about the academic sample please carefully read the Academic Sample and Self-Reflection Resource Guide.
Can an applicant submit both an academic sample and take the High School Placement Test?
At this time, applicants are given the choice and must make the choice. There is not the option to both take the High School Placement Test and submit an academic sample. Both are good choices and each applicant should choose which option is best for her.
What resources do you provide for students who have a documented learning difference, IEP and/or 504 plan?
The Academic Resources and Accommodations Program at Notre Dame high school provides appropriate and reasonable services to otherwise academically qualified students with disabilities. This is unlike a formal special education program as would be found in a traditional public school. We aim to create opportunities for students to reach their potential, support students to become independent learners, and help students develop a greater understanding of and respect for self. For more information visit our A.R.I.S.E. program webpage.
During the admissions process it is important to disclose the most current and accurate description of the supports and services your child receives. Our two, full-time Learning Resource Specialists work closely with the admissions team to review and evaluate IEP/504 and psychoeducational documentation submitted by families to determine if our resources can meet the specific learning needs of the student throughout their four years at Notre Dame. Upon admission, admitted applicants who have provided documentation receive a list of accommodations and supports that Notre Dame can, and cannot provide.
When will I know if I have been accepted?
Notre Dame sends admissions decisions to applicants by email in March. For the Class of 2028, the notification will be on Friday, March 15, 2024 at 5 p.m. Additionally, a letter formalizing the admissions decision is sent by postal mail.
Will applying for tuition assistance affect my admission?
No. We are committed to admitting mission-aligned young women who will be academically successful at Notre Dame.
- The application process and decisions for admission to the school are managed by the admissions department.
- The application process and offer of tuition assistance are managed by the business office. Please visit the tuition assistance page for information regarding process and deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in Notre Dame High School!
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