Admission: Not Impossible

 

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It doesn’t take more than a quick peek at the weather forecast to see that it is definitely still summer.  Even though I am currently planning my fall travel (flights! hotels! high school visits! college fairs!) and casting my thoughts to the months ahead, we admission counselors in the office are keeping busy with summer activities as well.

One summer activity of note is our July Advisory Day Program.  If you have not been following us on Twitter, July Advisory Days occurs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this month.  On these afternoons, we offer tours and info sessions as always but also add a short session on how to plan for the college interview and how to write the Common App college essay–not to mention we serve cookies from the dining hall as an afternoon pick-me-up.

With only two JADs left in the season, it has been a busy month!  For those who are not able to visit campus and attend the program, I wanted to mention a few highlights about the interview portion of JAD.  Later this week I will discuss some of the takeaways of the essay part of the program!

1. Plan ahead–some institutions offer interviews, others do not. It is worth a quick look on the college’s website to see their policy. If it is an option, why not take that opportunity to distinguish yourself as an applicant?  Furthermore, do your homework.  Look into the school a little and think of some questions that you might want to ask your interviewer.  It will show that you are serious about applying.

2. Be mindful of time, attire, and your overall demeanor.  The interview is the chance to give the admissions office an impression of who you are and how you might fit into the campus community.  Try to arrive early, dress to impress (leave the t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops for another day), and be the friendly, polite, excited applicant that you are.  We are happy to meet you and want to see you put your best foot forward!

3. Remember that although it is an evaluative interview here at Holy Cross, it is also a conversation between two people.  We in admissions want to know more about you, so we are not going to throw any curve balls at you or try to put you on the spot.  Really, the interview serves as a way for us to add a face and personality to your application, and as such, we just want to hear your story.

I hope this helps! Please stay tuned for the post on the Common App essay coming up later this week.

(photos by Xiaofeng Wan)

 

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It’s a beautiful Friday afternoon, and as I sit to type this, I cannot help but look out the window at the lovely green grass, the somewhat-cloudy-but-still-pretty-clear blue skies, and the bright leaves softly rustling in the big trees.  Thank goodness it’s almost the weekend–I plan to spend some time outside and enjoy this wonderful New England weather!

For me, summer is such a great time to catch up on books.  It feels so nice to jump into a story while relaxing at the beach or hanging out in the park, so I try to take advantage as often as I can.  As a student, I always enjoyed receiving the list of books that I had to complete by the end of August.  In middle school, I would even help my cousin with his reading requirements: he promised me that I would be able to read to him a chapter of Harry Potter if I read to him a chapter of his summer reading.  What a great deal!

Now, one of my favorite questions to ask during interviews is, “So what are you reading?”  It interests me to see which classic stories will be covered and which contemporary tomes are being added to the list.  Just today a student told me that she was enjoying Wuthering Heights, and another student earlier this week mentioned how much he liked Catcher in the Rye.

As I’ve already finished my book club’s pick for July, Papertowns, I thought it might be worthwhile to see what other good options might be out there.  First I came across this list on our new site called HC 100 Books.  Apparently back in the ’80s a group of faculty members chose books that they considered great classics (you can read the list here).  After skimming the list, it surprised me to find that I have only read three!

Other choices for summer reading: works by Holy Cross alumni.  Billy Collins ’63 served as the US Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003 and the New York Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006.  Some of his books include Aimless Love, The Trouble with Poetry, and Nine Horses.  Another Holy Cross alumnus, Edward P. Jones, graduated in 1972 and wrote All Aunt Hagar’s Children and Lost in the City.  Jones went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004 with his novel, The Known World.

Between the 97 classics by historic authors and the award-winning works by these notable Crusaders, it looks as though I have my work cut out for me this summer!

 

 

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!

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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:

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

 


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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)

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