New Women's College Students

As a new student about to attend the Women's College at Notre Dame, you should receive the following items in the mail:

  • Financial Aid Insert (multi-colored document)
  • Financial Aid Award Letter (black and white document)
  • Shopping Sheet (blue and white document)

Award Types

Please carefully review your Financial Aid Award Letter and note if you have received an Estimated Award or a Final Award (listed in the box on the top right):

  • Instructions for letters with Estimated Awards
  • Instructions for letters with Final Awards

Instructions for letters with Estimated Awards

1. Check for Accuracy

Log into fafsa.gov and review your FAFSA for accuracy. If you estimated your income on the FAFSA, attempt to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to update the information (if the conditions are met for DRT). If you are not eligible to use DRT, update the income section manually with the information from your completed taxes.

2. Check Your Email

Our office will notify you by email to submit missing documents. Requests are typically sent to applicants within one week of the date of the estimated award notification. Depending on where you are in the admissions process, an email may be sent to your personal email account or your Notre Dame email account.

3. Submit Documents

Submit required items within thirty days from the time of notice to avoid processing delays. Incomplete forms cannot be accepted and must be resubmitted when complete. Please refer to the deadlines for the office of financial aid. Note that processing of documents submitted to our office takes 3-6 weeks.

4. Meet with a Counselor

Meet with your financial aid counselor to discuss any financial aid questions. Bring requested items if you have not already submitted them.

5. Receive a Final Award

Receive a Final Award Letter with further instructions, including how to apply for loans. If your FAFSA is accurate, your final award notice will be the same as your estimated award notice.

6. Plan Your Finances

Start planning how you will finance your education at NDMU by visiting the Business Office for information on payment plans and by learning about loans.

7. Apply for Scholarships

Apply for external scholarships to reduce your out-of-pocket cost.

Instructions for letters with Final Awards

1. Review Assumptions

Information regarding your assumptions is listed in the upper right side of your award letter. It includes information about:

  • Enrollment (F-full time, Q-three-quarter time, H-half-time, L-less than half-time, N-not enrolled)
  • Dependency Status
  • Housing Plans
  • Student Type

If our assumptions are inaccurate, you must contact our office to update our records. Use our Forms to correct or update your enrollment, housing, or dependency status.

2. Review Grants/Scholarships

Pell Grants

If a Federal Pell Grant is listed on your award letter, the grant amount will be adjusted if your actual enrollment as of census differs from the anticipated enrollment. Pell Grants are only available to undergraduate students that have not used their full 600% lifetime eligibility limit.

State Awards

If your award letter lists any state awards, visit the Maryland College Aid Processing System to accept the state award(s). 

Census Policy

Some grants/scholarships could be adjusted if your enrollment as of census is less than the award requires.

3. Review Student Loans

Since this is the first time you are receiving Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans at Notre Dame, you must apply for the loans by the priority deadline. To reduce or cancel offered loans, complete the appropriate request form found in Forms and Publications.

4. Review Other Resources

If your award letter lists Federal Work Study, you will be emailed more information as the fall semester approaches.   

5. Notify Notre Dame About External Scholarships or Other Educationally Related Financial Assistance

If you receive an external scholarship or other educationally related financial assistance (i.e. tuition assistance) from any source other than that which is indicated on your award letter, you MUST send our office a copy of the paperwork. The University will then notify you of any impact to your financial aid package.

6. Use the Financial Aid Calculator

The Financial Aid Calculator will help you determine if you will have a balance due or if your financial aid will cover your bill.

7. Consider Options for Additional Funds

You may seek out private loans or external scholarships to help cover your balance. If you still need help paying your balance, you can set up a FACTS Payment Plan through our Business Office. Parents of dependent undergraduate students should consider the PLUS loan, and follow the instructions to apply for the loan by the priority deadline. Note that it is subject to credit approval.

8. Review Disbursement Information

The Disbursement Schedule will help you determine when financial aid funds will be credited to your student account.

9. Stay Informed

Review our policies and visit the Financial Aid page for announcements.

Financial Aid and Your Student Bill

The business office sends an invoice for fall and spring semesters. If all necessary activation steps have been completed, the financial aid appears on the invoice as pending aid. Any aid left over after paying your bill is issued to you in a refund check. Refund checks are mailed to the mailing address on record with the University. Please contact the business office at 410-532-5440 about billing questions, payment plans, or refund checks.

Shopping Sheet

The Shopping Sheet is a college cost comparison tool developed by the federal government. It provides a simplified overview of your financial aid, and should be considered supplemental information to your Notre Dame financial aid award letter. It is intended to help you compare aid offers from different schools based on your Estimated Net Cost after grants/scholarships. It also presents your financial aid data and estimated costs in a standardized format.

Common Misunderstandings - Shopping Sheet Cost Data

  1. The Shopping Sheet is not a bill.
  2. All Notre Dame cost data is estimated. 
  3. The Shopping Sheet Net Cost is not an estimate of your total school charges after aid.
  4. At every school, your Shopping Sheet Net Cost will always be much higher than your estimated school charges because it is based on an estimate of your total educational costs that includes estimated direct costs from your school and allowances for indirect costs that are usually not paid to your school, such as transportation expenses and other (personal) educational costs.
  5. Because the allowances for these indirect costs can vary widely between schools, they can distort valid comparisons of each school’s direct costs. 

Many financial aid professionals believe that families can more accurately compare the relative costs of their potential schools by comparing their estimated Net Direct Costs instead of the (Total) Net Cost (direct and indirect) that is listed on the federal Shopping Sheet.