Parents rank Notre Dame fourth top choice

In spite of the recent troubles the University of Notre Dame is having over its invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver the 2009 commencement address and receive an honorary laws degree, many parents still think the Golden Dome is a great destination for their children.

In its annual “College Hopes and Worries” survey of college applicants and their parents by The Princeton Review, Notre Dame ranked fourth overall with parents when asked what their dream college would be for their child if costs were not an issue.  The university ranked behind Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, and just ahead of Yale. No other Catholic college or university ranked. Neither Notre Dame nor any other Catholic school ranked in the top 10 with students.

The Princeton Review received almost 16,000 responses from respondents in all 50 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization did not diferentiate between Catholic and non-Catholics in its survey.

Notre Dame has long ranked in the top 20 major research universities in the United States by many different ranking organizations. Catholics make up about one-fifth of the U.S. population.

10 Responses

  1. “When Notre Dame eventually goes the way that so many other Catholic institutions of higher education first in Europe, now in America, have gone, as I think it will, it will hardly be missed by those who remain committed to making the Faith matter in public life. Notre Dame will hardly be missed by my generation, let alone by my children’s, when it is gone, because it has hardly been noticed while it was around.”

  2. I suspect most, and probably all, of the survey responses were submitted prior to the Notre Dame commencement scandal. Accordingly, it’s probably misleading to lead off by saying that the survey ranking was “in spite of the recent troubles”.

  3. Chris , you are right.

    “During the months of January through mid-March we collected 15,722 responses – 12,715 from college applicants and 3,007 from parents – representing all 50 states, DC, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. An abridged summary is below.”

    http://www.princetonreview.com/college-hopes-worries-2009.aspx

  4. Not only is Chris right about this misleading article, but this sort of article is designed to say to those who support the USCCB’s statement against Catholic organizations supporting abortion-favoring politicians that they are unimportant and ineffectual. It’s likely that Notre Dame will persist in its infamous behavior, but partly this is due to the inaction of the USCCB. Let the Bishops Conference openly declare Notre Dame in breach of their well-thought out statement. Let them also point out that Obama favors the death penalty and has threatened (during his campaign) to conduct war in Pakistan! Pace the ill-thought out editorial in the Tablet, a unified Catholic leadership can make the difference here.

  5. Why is Catholic News Service so quick to highlight and emphasize institutions, people, and events that come into conflict with Church teachings and so nuanced and guarded when covering stories that have a traditional and/or orthodox Catholic lean? I suspect that Catholic News Service tends to favor the editorial policies of the National Catholic Reporter, the Tablet, and Commonweal, unabashedly dissenting publications to which Catholic News Service is obviously sympathetic.

  6. I send my daughter to Notre Dame and am proud to do so. My daughter tells me there is a Catholic ethos on the campus that is nothing like she has ever experienced. There is mass in her dorm every Sunday, night prayer in a nearby dorm every evening, a crucifix in every class room. But apart from externals, she is most happy with the Catholic spirit that pervades the campus and the balanced educational experience she is receiving. When we visited Notre Dame before she applied, I left the campus with a secure feeling that this would be a faith filled, educational experience for my daughter and I think I am correct in that observation.

  7. Alas, Paul, it’s not just the CNS. Many of the Catholic Church’s leadership have a difficult time warming to “traditional and/or orthodox Catholic” events and stories. The trouble is two-fold: (1) Most Major Superiors and Bishops are of an age where they did much of their initial formation at seminary in the middle of the theological upheavals of the 70s and 80s. They may not be liberals themselves, they may even be in intellectual and spiritual reaction against this past, but they won’t take direct action against it. Their feeling is to let it run its course (as it will) and die out (which it is doing). But this means we as a Church continue to suffer from the death throes of that upheaval, which wrack the Church. (2) In part because of the first, many Catholic organizations (CNS, CRS, CHD, etc.) have been run and staffed by those who pursued the liberal eccesial upheavals of 30 years ago, and who are just now coming into retirement age. These organizations are run by a small group of aging liberals and a much smaller group of younger followers.

    In the next 10 years most of these folks from the 70s and 80s will retire. The Bishops will also become a younger group, further distancing themselves from those times. We will see what becomes of these organizations then. WIll they remain camped around 50-year old liberal movements whose fires have long gone out? I doubt it.

    But in the meantime, we must suffer the inaccurate reporting of life in the Church, with dying liberal groups being given front-page news, while thriving “traditional and/or orthodox Catholic” movements have to find other ways of getting the word out. But having the opportunity to post about these things helps.

  8. Your daughter’s experience may very well be the case, Deacon John Paul Kelly. Nonetheless, Catholics (and especially you as a deacon) have an obligation not to support a school that calls itself Catholic that openly defies its local bishop and Church teachings.

  9. Deacon Kelly—This Newman Society review supports your personal experience.

    http://www.scribd.com/full/12181481?access_key=key-pzfplfsgyh4k066qiqo

    It seems the big loser in this ND scandal is the Body of Christ as a whole rather than ND itself, at least on a pratical level. Even as ND continues to become a ‘research’ university and more fully secular, it seems there will still be great opportunity for Catholic growth for students that desire it. However, still no question in my mind this invite to President Obama is a profound mistake.

  10. Dan, you said it well. Places like ND or Georgetown still offer a strong Catholic presence if a student wants that. I worked at Georgetown in the mid-90s and had many wonderful experiences as part of the Catholic faithful there. I don’t know ND as well, but I assume it’s similar.

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