The Notre Dame experience is all anyone hears or talks about during their time here. But just like tuition, participating in those experiences isn’t always the cheapest. The office of student enrichment enables students to maximize their Notre Dame experience to ensure no one is excluded for personal or financial limitations.
The office of student enrichment offers a plethora of funding opportunities for students with demonstrated financial need. Such funding opportunities include, but are not limited to, football tickets, club dues, professional attire, groceries, internet access and winter clothing.
Junior Isabel Niforatos has utilized the office of student enrichment’s wide range of services throughout her time at Notre Dame. Recently, Niforatos was able to receive funding for new winter items prior to which she wore a hand-me-down coat that belonged to her sister, that neither fit nor kept her warm.
“Naturally, I was very excited when I received my new winter coat,” said Niforatos. “Other students may not understand the agency and self-worth that stems from being able to select clothing for yourself that you like, but this feeling associated with both self-expression and the ability to obtain a necessary resource is priceless.”
According to Consuela Howell Wilson, the director of the office of student enrichment, at least 500 students utilize the office’s services every year. By providing students with basic necessities, Wilson believes it can help them focus on the bigger picture.
“I think it just really helps them to focus on why they’re here, to get a good education, to build community, to make friends, to have experiences,” said Wilson.
On top of providing tangible resources to students, the office also offers programs that help students understand their financial aid, how to budget and how to navigate college. Money is the last thing the office wants students to worry about, and according to Wilson it’s a pleasure to help students in any way possible.
“Going to football games, getting a class ring, and even obtaining winter clothing so that we can take part in outdoor activities enables us to immerse ourselves in and cultivate our own unique Notre Dame experience rather than being limited to participate in only that which we can afford,” said Niforatos.
Services aren’t limited to just students either. For instance, if a student feels that a family member can’t afford to accompany them for Welcome Weekend, the office of student enrichment can assist in covering travel and lodging expenses. The same goes for other pivotal weekends at Notre Dame like Junior Parents Weekend and Commencement.