Located in Belmont, and established in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU is the fifth oldest institution of higher education in California and the first in the state chartered to grant the baccalaureate degree to women in 1868. NDNU continues to serve the underserved and to promote social justice while providing the full range of academic programs to traditional as well as non-traditional students who choose the advantages a small school can provide.
NDNU serves a diverse population including many first-generation college students. More than 47 percent of our undergraduate students are from underrepresented populations and 95 percent of our students receive financial assistance. Last year, more than $9 million in undergraduate scholarships was awarded for students from every walk of life. With record high enrollment, scholarship support remains a critical and growing need for all students, especially those from low-income, underrepresented populations. NDNU’s 2014 projection for unfunded undergraduate student scholarship aid is nearing $10 million.
As a small, private residential university, NDNU has had a natural appeal for first-generation students seeking a higher educational setting that is welcoming and attentive to the individual. As a Catholic university, NDNU has been particularly attractive to members of the Latino community, many of whom are first-generation students.
Given our size and modest endowment, NDNU is not able to offer the same size financial aid packages as larger, better endowed institutions. Nonetheless, we continue to grow our scholarship base and therefore the size of our awards. Of the 175 Fall 2013 freshmen, 174 (99 percent) received NDNU aid, for an average award of $15,739. Of these freshmen, 111 (63 percent) are first-generation.