The majority of these questions and answers pertain to prospective students and applicants for grades 9 and 6. Anyone interested in the off-grade admissions process should refer to the last question. 

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • +  What is the average class size for 9th grade?

    While enrollment is not an exact science, NDP aims for a 9th-grade class size between 150-160 students.

    When it comes to individual class sizes, the average academic class size is between 13-16 students. There are some electives that will require larger class sizes (like chorus and band). But specifically, we like to keep English and math sizes, among others, on the smaller size for more student-teacher engagement.
  • +  What is the average class size for 6th grade?

    NDP aims for a 6th-grade class size of 50-60 students, with an average academic class size of between 13-16 students.
  • +  What does diversity and inclusion mean at NDP?

    NDP embraces inclusion and diversity and is currently in its fourth year of a multi-faceted inclusivity and diversity strategic plan. Diversity and inclusion include many facets, including students of color and learning differences, among other categories like religion. Please click here to read more about diversity and inclusivity at NDP.
    • NDP’s all-school student of color percentage is 20% for the 2020-2021 year.
  • + What learning resources are offered at NDP?

    NDP provides learning resource support to its students. Those who need accommodations, like extended time, or other qualified support measures, can meet with NDP’s learning resource teachers weekly or as-needed.
    • Any prospective student must submit a copy of her educational evaluation for review as part of the admissions process.
    • IEPs and 504s are only recognized for HSPT accommodations. Any student accepted and who enrolls at NDP must have a completed educational evaluation to be considered for NDP-supported accommodations as an enrolled student. 
    • NDP honors accommodations for 50% extended. We do not provide 100%. Documentation must be evaluated and approved for a student to receive this accommodation.
    • In 2019-2020, NDP launched a new reading program to aid students who need extra support with reading skills.
    • 7% of Middle Level students (grades 6-8) benefit from resource support (2019-2020 percentage).
    • 9% of Upper Level students (grades 9-12) benefit from resource support (2019-2020 percentage).
  • +  Does my daughter have to shadow? 

    Yes, the shadow day is a required part of NDP’s admissions process. Shadow days are held in the fall before their entering year at NDP, will spend a day “walking in our saddles” to experience life as a NDP student in either the Middle or Upper Level.

    Anyone interested in an off-grade entry needs to call the admissions office for space availability or refer to the off-grades FAQ for more information.
  • +  What does my daughter need to bring on her shadow day?

    Visiting students should bring a copy of the prior year’s final report card and spring standardized test scores. Parents should bring copies of what they have at home; please do not call the school to get this information. Hopefully, parents have their own copies. Visiting students will also be treated to lunch at NDP – so no need to bring a lunch for your daughter unless there are food allergies and you prefer to pack her a lunch. Otherwise, lunch is on us!

    For a prospective 6th grader, shadows will bring a copy of their final 4th-grade report card and spring standardized test scores (IOWAs or PARRCs or whatever your daughter took at school in spring of 4th grade).

    For a prospective 9th grader, shadows will bring a copy of their final 7th-grade report card and spring standardized test scores (IOWAs or PARRCs or CTP4s or whatever your daughter took at her school in spring of 7th grade).
  • +  What should my daughter wear on her shadow day?

    Prospective Blazers may wear their school uniform (if they attend a parochial school) but it is not required. If students choose to dress out of uniform or are coming from a public school, NDP suggests “Sunday church casual” attire—a skirt and blouse, a dress and cardigan, slacks and a shirt. Rubber-soled and closed-toed shoes. Shadows should not wear open-toed shoes, flip flops, jeans, sweats, hoodies.
  • +  Does my daughter need teacher recommendations?

    As part of the application process, NDP requires teacher referral forms but NDP coordinates request and receipt of them. Parents do not have to provide teacher recommendations.

    Once a student makes an application to NDP, parents will also sign a Transcript Release Form (TRF). The TRF gives NDP permission to request and receive their own teacher referral forms. These forms are confidential, which is why NDP oversees the requesting and receiving of them.

    While teacher recommendation letters are not required, some families choose to submit supplemental letters of recommendation. If NDP receives a supplemental letter of recommendation for an applicant, the letter gets included in her admission file.
  • +  What else do I need to know about my daughter’s shadow day?

    You will schedule your daughter’s shadow day by completing the online shadow day form. Your daughter will arrive for her shadow day at 7:45 am. on her scheduled day. You will be invited and encouraged to stay for a one-hour parent information session (8:00-9:00 a.m.) where you will hear detailed information on curriculum, special programs, co-curriculars, financial aid and other important school related information.
  • +  What tests are required for admission?

    Ninth Grade (9th) applicants are required to take the High School Placement Test (HSPT) as part of NDP’s admissions process. The HSPT is administered in a variety of ways:
    • Many Catholic school students will have the opportunity to take the HSPT in their school on a designated day in December 2020. Check with your Catholic school for the test date.
    • For those parochial students whose school is not administering the HSPT and for all public school and independent school applicants, they will have the option of taking the HSPT on either Saturday, Dec. 5 or Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. NDP is a host site for both dates with limited capacity at each session; preregistration is required. We would love for your daughter to take the test with us, but, she should take it at a test location that is most convenient for her. Please refer to the HSPT information on the Grade 9 Admissions page.

    Sixth Grade (6th) applicants are required to take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) as part of the NDP Middle Level admissions process.
    • While NDP is a host site on Saturday, December 12, NDP applicants can test at any Baltimore-area test location. Families can see available testing sites by visiting
    • NDP 6th grade applicants for the 2021-2022 year, should take the ISEE no later than mid-January 2021.
  • + Does NDP require a technology device for learning?

    Yes. Incoming 9th graders are required to own and use a laptop device. The device can be purchased through NDP or students can participate in the Bring-your-Own-Device program and buy it on their own. All of this information is available in the accepted student's packet. Sixth graders and Middle Level students purchase their own devices and participate in the mandatory Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) program. Chromebooks or iPads are not allowed in the Middle Level BYOD.
  • +  Is bus transportation available?

    NDP provides bus service from Howard, Harford/Northern Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Carroll counties. 
  • +  What is the percentage of students who received need-based aid at NDP?

    For 6th grade applicants, between 20-30% receive need-based grants.

    For 9th grade applicants in the class of 2023, about 45% received a combination of need-based financial aid and merit; and 12% received merit aid only.

    The percentages will differ from year to year.
  • +  My daughter is applying for 6th grade. What do I need to know about financial aid and merit awards at NDP?

    There are both financial aid and merit and talent awards available at NDP. Please read the following bullets carefully to better understand the process for each.
    • 6th Grade applicants: There is financial aid available in the Middle Level, but it is limited. The average 6th-grade financial aid grant is about $3000. Financial aid is determined through a FACTS application and a family must show demonstrated need.
    • There is one merit award available in the Middle Level called the Gateway Academic Achievement Award. It carries a $3,000 value. This is a merit-based award, so a family does not need to make a FACTS application for their daughter to earn the Gateway merit award. However, any recipient must meet all the following criteria:
      • As in her first quarter/first trimester 5th-grade reading/language arts and math classes
      • 90% or higher on her spring standardized tests in total reading, total math, and language (if she took the IOWAs)
      • Public school applicants need to score Level 5 on PARRC in both Reading and Math
      • Independent school applicants who take the CTP4 need to score in the 90th percentiles on Reading Comprehension and Math 1&2.
      • On the ISEE, a student must score in the 7 8 or 9 stanines on all four sections: Reading, Math, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.
  • +  My daughter is applying for 9th grade. What do I need to know about the financial aid, merit and talent awards at NDP?

    NDP offers two types of monies to incoming freshman: need-based financial aid as well as merit and talent awards (no-need monies). Please refer to the bullets below for specific details on each. The average financial aid amount for a qualifying 9th grader is between $3000-5000.
    • Need-based financial aid is called grants and scholarships. All need-based aid is determined first through a FACTS application and then by a thorough review by NDP’s financial aid committee. Anyone who wants to be considered for need-based financial aid must complete a FACTS application during the open dates of Nov. 1-Jan 2 each application year. The FACTS link can be found HERE.
      • NDP does not list its available scholarship because they change from year to year.
      • Merit and Talent Awards are also available to incoming 9th graders. These no-need monies are earned through academic criteria or talent-based auditions.
        • The Gateway Academic Achievement Award is a merit-based financial award that recognizes the academic success of incoming freshmen. It is a quarter-scholarship that follows the increase in tuition annually. The criteria are firm and any accepted 9th grader who meets the full criteria will automatically receive the Gateway Academic Achievement Award.
          • As on first quarter/trimester 8th-grade report card in reading/language arts AND math.
          • For Catholic school applicants:
            • 90% or higher scores on the 7th grade spring standardized Iowa test in total reading, total math and language
        • For public school applicants, Level 5 on PARRC in both reading and math
        • For Independent school applicants, 90% or higher on the CTP4 in Reading Comprehension and Math 1&2.
        • On the HSPT, scores of 90% or higher on all the following sections:
          • Reading, Math, and Language
    • Talent awards are available in seven areas and are earned through an audition-based process for 9th-grade applicants, only.
      • Each talent award carries a $3,000 value and any recipient who earns a talent award and enrolls at NDP must make that her elective all 4 years she attends NDP to retain the award.
      • An applicant may apply and audition for more than one talent award.
      • There are seven talent awards available in the following areas:
        • Art, band, chorus, dance, orchestra, STEAM, and theatre
    • It is possible to receive financial aid and a merit and/or talent award. Earning/receiving one does not negate receiving another type of money.
  • +  My daughter is applying for an off-grade (7th, 8th, 10th 11th). What is the off-grade admission process?

    While NDP will consider off-grade applicants, space availability does not always allow for off-grade enrollment. Please call the admissions office to check on space availability. 8th and 11th grades are the most competitive for admission, as there are usually very few spaces available in either of those grades and social and academic transition can be more challenging.

    Any student who goes through the off-grade application process must do the following:
    • Spend a shadow day with a NDP student in their current grade.
    • Bring copies of prior year final report cards and standardized testing.
    • Take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) between mid-November and the second Sunday in January of the application year. Visit the link here for registration, testing locations and other information regarding the ISEE.

Notre Dame Preparatory School

An Independent, Catholic Girls School
Grades 6-12
Sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame
© Notre Dame Preparatory School 2016