Saint Mary's College

Saint Mary's College


Saint Mary's College, a private, Catholic, residential college, has been educating women in the liberal arts tradition for over 170 years. As one of the nation's oldest women's colleges, Saint Mary's is an academic community in which women develop their talents and prepare to make a difference in the world. Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1844, Saint Mary's seeks to provide academic, social and spiritual growth. Located near the city of South Bend and directly across the street from the University of Notre Dame, the Saint Mary's community includes 1,519 students from 40 states and 16 foreign countries.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Scholarship & Financial Aid Holy Cross Grants

Saint Mary's offers Holy Cross grants, ranging up to $5,000/year, to Pell eligible, first generation students. They also offer merit-based scholarships to 100% of incoming students that range from $5,000 to $25,000 per year. Learn more about Holy Cross Grants

Summer Bridge & Orientation Belles Connect

Student Involvement and Multicultural Programs offers Belles Connect, a unique opportunity for incoming first year students to ease into campus life. The program introduces students to Saint Mary's before the official Welcome Week that precedes the start of classes. Participants learn how to navigate the campus, explore Saint Mary's extraordinary heritage, and are introduced to support services.

Academic Courses & Service Learning College Academy of Tutoring Program (CAT)

CAT was formed in 2006 to meet the needs of at-risk students in the South Bend area. Saint Mary’s students partner with Title 1 elementary schools; working as tutors, teacher’s assistants, reading partners and special program coordinators. The program also provides the partner school with physical resources (school supplies, clothing, software and more), training and cultural events for parents, staff and community members. Learn more about College Academy of Tutoring Program (CAT)

Student Life & Support Offices of Student Involvement and Multicultural Programs

The Offices of Student Involvement and Multicultural Programs provide solid evidence of Saint Mary’s commitment to supporting the inclusion of women of all races, ethnicities and cultures. SIMS advances the understanding of diversity at all levels by providing educational programs and services, and serving as a support network for all students. The office maintains a resource library of novels, scholarship information, art, films and literature on multicultural topics. It works with faculty and Academic Affairs to help ensure each student’s successful academic and social adjustments to Saint Mary’s. The Offices provide a social and professional gathering place. Learn more about Offices of Student Involvement and Multicultural Programs

Student Diversity

  • 1,581
  • 0/100
  • n/a
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 2%
  • 2%
    Black or African American
  • 11%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 77%
  • 3%
    Two or more races
  • 3%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 2%

Student Success

  • 86%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 80%
    Six-year graduation
  • 72%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 98%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 88%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 144
    Full-time faculty
  • 17
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 10:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Elementary Education and Teaching, Nursing Science, Biology, Communication Studies, Business, Psychology

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Al Zahra, Around the World Club, Chinese Cultural Club, Diverse Student Leadership Conference, Korean Club, La Fuerza, Pacific Islanders and Asian Club (PAC), Sisters of Nefertiti, SMC Irish Club, Straight and Gay Alliance


Cost of Attendance

  • $38,080
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $800
    Required Fees
  • $11,720
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $21,000,000
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $27,174
    Average aid package
  • $23,140
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 24%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 57%
    Students with financial need
  • 99%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 54%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 19%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 1,772
    # of applicants
  • 80%
  • 3.76
    Average HS GPA
  • 26
    ACT Composite
  • 520—630
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 500—630
    SAT Math
  • 510—620
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • rolling
    Regular application closing date
  • n/a
    Application Fee
  • n/a
    Application Fee (online)
  • n/a
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/15
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date