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Academy of Notre Dame de Namur

School rating 4 / 5 by

560 Sproul Road Villanova PA 19085 United States
6th to 12th
Girls only


Academy of Notre Dame de Namur review by .

The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur proved invaluable in my academic success over the past seven years. Although the atmosphere of the stukdent body is generally collegial (there are no published class rankings which contributes to this atmosphere), it is definitely possible for a competitive-minded student to challenge herself. The Academy is home to a very strong STEM program which has received generous funding over the past several years. As a senior, I took AP Physics and AP Calculus BC courses and found the courses to be beneficial towards my success in SAT and ACT standardized tests. The English Department is very well-run, and is quite popular with students. I wish there had been more course options in the Social Studies Department-in general there was simply an AP and an non-AP option at every level. The Language Department is somewhat weak, and many students do not continue to the AP level. The Art Department suffers from being considered at a lower level than the other academic departments. Overall, one weakness of the Academy is the inability of students to diversify their courses. The girls can choose to take an AP course in every department, and although there are many AP options in the science department (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Environmental) there are limited options in other departments. Most years the students have one AP course in each department that they can choose to take, and there are many courses that Notre Dame could offer its students but does not. For example, classes such as World History and European History are not taught at the school. For sophomore year students in the social studies department must take American government or American history. The only electives taught through the department are offered senior year. As a student I would have appreciated more course options.

College Counseling

The college counseling department at the Academy was appalling. At the beginning of my senior....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

Having a sibling attend the Academy of Notre Dame before me definitely helped my chances....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

In general, I loved my time at the Academy of Notre Dame. Having attended the school for seven years, it began to feel like a home to me. Most of what contributed to this stemmed from the school community. I felt incredibly supported by my peers and teachers at all times, and I began to take my academics seriously when I came to the school. One of my favorite aspects of my time at Notre Dame was the mutual respect between teachers and students. I felt that all of my teachers sincerely wanted my peers and I to succeed, and....

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