Admission: Not Impossible

 

Did you know that Worcester is the second-largest city in New England?  Of its 185,000 residents, students make up about one-fifth of the population, with 38,000 students attending 12 institutions of higher education.  I learned this during a bus tour led by members of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.  It was a beautiful summer day, and our hour-long tour included a drive past Worcester Technical High School, WPI, the Worcester Art Museum, and several parks, including Elm Park.

As a staff member who does not live in Worcester, I was delighted to learn more!  In fact, several of my colleagues told me some of their favorite things about the Woo, which we plan to add in our waiting room for visitors.  For now, read on for Lynn and Ashley’s favorite places to eat:

1. Sweet (72 Shrewsbury St) is one of Ashley’s favorite places to go for pastries…she said, “The dosants are amazing–and were invented way before the Cronut!”

2. Another popular pastry shop is Culpepper’s (500 Cambridge St # 3).  Lynn told us, “Culpepper’s is right down the hill from campus and [has] more bakery options than you could ever try! I recommend the yellow cookies (butter cookies drizzled with chocolate).”

3. Lynn also loves the Roasted Red (pizza) at Corner Grille (806 Pleasant St): “[It] has a delicious, thin crust and high quality ingredients. Friendly service too!”

4. For a more southern feel, Ashley suggests Smokestack Urban BBQ (139 Green St), as “you can never go wrong with their fried pickles!”

Bon appetit, and please come explore Worcester!

 

Happy June, everyone!  It has been quiet here in Fenwick Hall these past few weeks, especially with the semester ending and our seniors graduating (congratulations, Class of 2019!!!).  Before we leave for the NEACAC conference at Roger Williams University, however, I wanted to take a moment to introduce our student admissions workers for the summer.  Without further ado, here they are!

 

Heidi Boland

heidi I am a rising senior here at the College of the Holy Cross. I am originally from Wellesley, Massachusetts where I graduated from Wellesley High School in 2012. Upon entering Holy Cross I began my pre-med studies and the requirements for my biology major. In addition I joined the club soccer team, and in further years have also been a part of intramural softball, admissions outreach, volunteering at a high school in Worcester, working in the photography dark room, and have recently completed a marathon! My junior year I spent abroad in Costa Rica doing a global health program and also in Scotland at the University of St. Andrews. I have chosen to be a tour guide and part of the admissions team at Holy Cross because of the love that I have for this school and everyone who works and attends. I want to share this passion with everyone who visits to make sure that they know that Holy Cross is such an incredible school to attend.

 

 

 

Kat Resker

KatI’m a rising junior here at Holy Cross. I live about 25 minutes from campus in Grafton, MA however I am a full time Holy Cross student! On campus I work and volunteer in the Admissions and the Post Office, I am part of the choir, and I am also a member of a community service group called SPUD (Student Programs for Urban Development). I have recently declared as a Political Science and Italian double major. Joined by seven other Holy Cross students, I will be spending my entire junior year in Bologna, Italy studying at L’Università di Bologna! One of my highlights on the Hill was undoubtedly spring break of my freshman year when I spent a week in El Paso, Texas on an immersion trip hosted by our Chaplain’s Office.

 

 

 

Flavia Sula

FullSizeRender-4I am a rising junior here at Holy Cross. I’ve lived in Worcester, MA for fifteen years, but I was born and raised in Rome, Italy. I am an English major, with a Women’s and Gender Studies concentration. On campus, I’ve been involved in various things: tour guide in Admissions, work-study student in the Study Abroad office, Summer Orientation Leader with the Gateways program, Escape Retreat Team Leader with the Chaplain’s Office, and the College Honors Program. What I’m most excited about next year is having the opportunity to study and live in Trinity College, Dublin, under the supervision and guidance of Holy Cross’ study abroad program. Therefore, I’m happy to spend as much time at Holy Cross for the summer, sharing my experiences and memories with prospective students, before leaving this wonderful place for an entire academic year.

 

 

 

 

 

We offer tours four times a day, Monday through Friday; for more information, please go to our Tours & Information Sessions page.  Hope to see you on campus soon!

In some parts of the world, May 1 is known as May Day.  It is a time of celebration to honor spring, with dancing around a maypole, spending time outside, and enjoying the company of friends and family.  In my family’s home country of Finland, May Day is celebrated with tippaleipä, or Finnish funnel cake!

peanuts Sima_and_tippaleipä_2

May 1 is an important day for those of us who work in college admissions because it is College Decision Day, or the last day that accepted students have to choose where they will spend the next four years.  With the hashtags #CollegeDecisionDay and #CollegeSigningDay blowing up on Twitter (check out the Obama’s tweet!), it is exciting to see counselors and other school administrators, parents and other family members, and of course students themselves sharing their enthusiasm on social media.

Here at the office we asked accepted students to sign a banner, which we proudly displayed in our office throughout the month of April.  Here it is in all of its glory:

banner

We received signatures from both near and far, including Puerto Rico, Georgia, New York, California, Iowa, and Washington!  It has been an incredible year so far, and we look forward to having all of the members of the Class of 2019 on campus in August!

 

Image credits:

Peanuts Gang Maypole image from http://snoopn4pnuts.com/flags-and-windsocks/school-flags/peanuts-gang-may-pole-flag-rare–610012/.

Tippaleipä image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sima_and_tippaleip%C3%A4_2.jpg.

Banner image taken by author.

 

 

 

Here are responses from two more students on why they decided to come to the College of the Holy Cross!

natNatalie: During the college process, I wanted to make sure that I went to a college that shared similar characteristics as my high school — small, Jesuit, full of community, and full of  intellectually curious individuals. Believe it or not, I didn’t have a chance to visit Holy Cross until a month before applications were due (you can only imagine how stressed I was!), but as soon as I stepped onto “The Hill”, I knew that Holy Cross was the place for me. As someone who knew that I wanted to pursue an English major, I was particularly attracted to our notable English Department, which according to USA Today is 9th in the country, and was attracted by potential exposure  to the writing and editing fields, such as writing for The Crusader. I also knew that Holy Cross would help me grow intellectually and spiritually, supporting me to become the independent Latina woman who gives back to her global community.

 

 

 

 

saraSara: As a Catholic institution, Holy Cross was always on my radar as I began my college application process. I live nearby so I’ve been aware of the school since I was young. At first, I did not like the idea of going to school so close to home; however, when I visited campus, I fell in love with the school. Part of it was certainly the ivy-covered, castle-like buildings, the…small class sizes and the sprawling, immaculately landscaped campus. There was also an indescribable sense of community and camaraderie that ultimately inspired me to apply Early Decision. This Holy Cross community transcends friend groups, personal interests–any typical social boundaries! Everyone feels a sense of unity as fellow Crusaders and I hope to carry that with me following graduation and beyond.

 

 

Since the May 1 National Enrollment Deadline is this Friday, I asked some of my social media interns to write about their decision to attend the College of the Holy Cross.  Here is what Mackenzie to say:

mackenzie

Holy Cross has always been a familiar place to me. Both my father and older sister came to Holy Cross, so I was a frequent visitor to Mount Saint James as a child. I was hesitant to tour the college and seriously consider it as a potential school for me, because I feared that attending Holy Cross would make me a mere shadow of my older sister. However, the opportunity to receive a liberal arts education, the friendliness of the students and the endless opportunities to live and learn among men and women who aspire to move mountains sealed the deal for me. My initial fear of living in my sister’s shadow never amounted to much. At Holy Cross, the opportunities are endless, whether it is volunteering in the Worcester community, being a member of the Student Government Association, or working as an editor on the school newspaper…I have found my niche in the SPUD volunteer program and [work to] promote social justice and live in solidarity with others…The friendships I have fostered among my peers and the relationships I have with my professors are to be afforded to the college’s intimate atmosphere and small size.  It is these relationships and conversations that have enabled me to become a more well-rounded and articulate person…Holy Cross has taught me how to be an independent woman, yet also a woman for others. Holy Cross is not just an institution of learning, rather it is a place where words become actions, and even one person can make a difference.

Please stay tuned for more responses!

What a success! Last Sunday we hosted our Accepted Students’ Open House program and had a fantastic day!

OH 6 OH 7

Here were some of the highlights of the program:

– a fair with representatives of student organizations, campus life departments, and sports teams to discuss various on-campus opportunities

– sessions on our Career Planning Services; Preparation for Health Professions; Study Abroad; Preparation for Law; Student-Designed Majors, Minors and other programs; Preparation for Business; Scholars Programs; Summer & Academic Internships; and Library Services

– separate panels for families and admitted students with current Holy Cross students, faculty, and staff

– brief, informal presentations by faculty in various the academic areas

– a Liturgy of Welcome at St. Joseph’s Chapel

The sun shone brightly over Mount Saint James throughout the day; we were so fortunate to host such a fun and informative event and have such great weather.  We also lucked out with several special performances of Holy Cross a Capella groups, the choir, and our Good Time Marching Band.  Coordination of this event required the planning of many staff members, faculty, and students–thank you all so so much!  And thank you to our guests for coming–we hope you had a wonderful time on campus!

OH 1 OH 5

 

PP PP 2

Today is April 17th.  It could just be any other Friday, but on Mt. St. James, today is important for a few reasons. First of all, it’s the last work day before our Accepted Students’ Open House on Sunday, April 19th!  Open House is a great opportunity for admitted students and their families to meet other potential Crusaders and current Crusaders, to interact with faculty and administrators, and to experience life at the College.  Although registration has closed, all accepted students and their families are welcome to attend!

Another reason why today, April 17th, is important is because today is Purple Pride Day.  Students in the Purple Key Society are working today to promote school spirit (something Holy Cross students have in incredible amounts).  I hope that you enjoy this fun video showing one student’s journey around campus:

I am so grateful to be part of such a supportive, dynamic, and fun community!  I encourage you to explore the College of the Holy Cross–whether it is in person, on our site, or on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook.  Additionally, we invite admitted students to tweet us pictures of themselves in purple with #HC2019!  Please join the conversation!

 

 


o'kane 3 o'kane

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, this year we received over 6,700 applications for ultimately about 750 spots.  That means that we had more qualified candidates than we had room to offer, and many great students were given a spot on the waitlist.  For the last few weeks our office has received phone calls and emails from prospective students who wanted to know more about how the waitlist works, so I wanted to take this opportunity to address their questions:

1. The first thing that students should do is log into their Holy Cross account (please go here to do so) and formally accept their spot on the waitlist.  This will change their status in our system and let us know that  they are still interested.

2. Students should consider sending us (via email) an update as to what they have been doing since they submitted their application back in January.  Did you change your classes? Have you earned some improved grades? Did you start a new activity or job? We would love to hear what’s new!

3. To keep their options open, waitlisted students should send their deposit to another institution by May 1.

4. After the national enrollment deadline of May 1, we will know what our numbers are in terms of admitted students accepting our offer of acceptance.  If the number is lower than that of our target number, then we will be able to go to the waitlist pool.  Please note that students are not ranked on our waitlist, but we definitely look at student contact as a way to determine interest.

I hope that this information helps students and their families better understand our process.  Please do keep in touch with us via Facebook and Twitter; we’d love to hear from you!

(photos by Xiaofeng Wan)

 

…bring May flowers (a.k.a. the Class of 2019)!

rain     flower

 

I am so excited for the month of April!  The days are getting warmer and longer, the snow is finally melting, and admitted students have been visiting campus, calling the office, and writing on Facebook!  Now that admission decisions have been made available online and mailed to students’ homes, seniors are working to figure out where they will spend the next four years.  To help them make that choice, we in the Admissions Office (with the help of our Social Media interns) will be tweeting fun facts and interesting information about the College throughout the month.  We also encourage students (both admitted and current) to tweet us a picture of themselves wearing Holy Cross gear or holding up their acceptance letter with the hashtag #SaderSelfie.  We kicked off the campaign earlier today if you would like to see our photo!

 

For students who want to get more involved in other events this month, here are some handy dates to know:

Wednesday, April 8: Online Chat from 7 to 10 p.m. ET — This event is a great way for accepted students to talk to one another, as well as chat with admission counselors and current students!

Sunday, April 19: Open House from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET — Please come to the Hill to get a glimpse of the academic and social life at Holy Cross!  Activities will include a student life fair with representatives from clubs and sports teams; information sessions on topics such as career planning, our pre-health program, and internships; and current student panels for admitted students and families.

Sunday, April 19 to Monday, April 20: Overnight Program — After the Open House, accepted students are invited to stay on campus for the night and then attend morning classes the following day.

Friday, May 1: the national enrollment deadline — The day when seniors need to send in their deposits!

 

For students who want even more, we have a beautiful virtual tour, as well as a number of other great videos on our YouTube page.  And please, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook, where you will also find our Admitted Students group!

Cheers to spring!

 

 

hc 7 hc 5

 

Over 6,700 prospective students, over 50 days of reading and deliberating files, over 115 inches of snow, and today Committee is OVER.  And what a Committee it was!  13 counselors with different backgrounds, different levels of admissions experience, and different recruitment regions all came together to help shape the Class of 2019.  We are so proud of our applicants this year–the pool included students from sea to shining sea, as well as Canada and Peru, the UK and Nepal, China and Egypt and India and several other countries.  It was so incredible to learn about students from all over the world, as they threw their hats in the ring for a chance to be part of our community.  I am so humbled to work in Admissions here at Holy Cross and get to be a part of this amazing process!

Students’ incredibly hard work certainly did not go unnoticed in this admission cycle.  We tapped our feet to drumming videos; smiled through scenes from plays like Shrek and Legally Blonde; felt shivers run down our spines during vocal performances; enjoyed stunning self-portraits, photographs, still-life paintings, and ceramic pottery; laughed at funny essays (and teared up at tender essays); and of course, we voted.  We chose students who we think challenged themselves in high school and will relish the academic rigors here on Mount Saint James.  We chose students who we believe will enhance our community with their wonderful talents, their varied interests, and their strong drive to not only better themselves but also better the lives of others.  And finally, we chose students who showed us their desire to study at a liberal arts college, and if they could, their desire to study at Holy Cross specifically.  Applicants showed us in all kinds of ways that they wanted to be Crusaders–by visiting campus, interviewing with an admissions counselor or an alumnus/alumna, writing to us, submitting their application response form, sending us supplemental materials, and/or attending a campus event.  Now that this part of the admission cycle is over, we look to the next step: helping admitted students choose Holy Cross!

I would like to end this post with my deepest congratulations to everyone who applied to the College this year.  You are all such incredible people with so much to offer, and it was an extraordinary experience to review your applications.  Working at a small liberal arts college, we had to make some hard decisions, and I wish that we could have taken more students–we saw so many well-qualified students in this pool.  While we could not offer a spot to everyone, we thank you all for applying and wish you all the best in your final semester of high school and in your future studies!

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