Archive for November, 2010

Giving Thanks

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Over the Thanksgiving break, I was able to spend some time reflecting on all of the things that I am thankful for.  Below I’ve listed a few, relating to Holy Cross:

I am thankful for the Guidance Secretaries who worked with us to schedule our many high school visits this fall,  and for the cooperation they and their Counselor colleagues showed us when we arrived.

I am thankful for the Faculty, Administrators and fellow Staff here at the College of the Holy Cross with whom I have the pleasure of working everyday, and for their commitment to the wonderful students here.

I am thankful for all of our Admissions Senior Interviewers, Tour Guides, Online Chatters, Greeters, and all of our Alumni Volunteers who help us tell the Holy Cross story and reach out to many more students than we would be able to reach alone.

I am thankful for the applicants, some of whom will become the next generation of Holy Cross Crusaders, and the commitment each has made to their own education, school and community.

And I’m thankful to be here, in this beautiful place called the College of the Holy Cross, and to take part in telling the story.

Jim Richardson

Associate Director of Admissions

Happy Thanksgiving from Admissions!

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

On behalf of the entire Admissions staff,  I would like to extend to you and your family our very best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving. We hope you have a wonderful holiday surrounded by family, friends, and of course, good food.

Best wishes,

Ann McDermott

Director of Admissions

Thanksgiving Break Suggestions

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Thanksgiving break is only days away and, while it may be tempting to eat the turkey and give into napping your vacation away, it is also a great time to work on those college applications. If you are submitting your application ED, then this is the perfect time to read over that essay one more time before the December 15th Early Decision deadline.

Instead of sitting in front of the TV, call upon your relatives to proof read your  essay. They will most likely approach your work with a fresh perspective that mom, dad, or even siblings may have lost by the 6th time reading your college essay. Perhaps your cousin, who is just back from his first semester of college, can give you some great editing tips that will make your essay that much more exciting.

Use your extra time to polish your college applications or even add supplements.  An art, theater, or music supplement may be one more great way to show Admissions your personality and interests. With a 4 day weekend, you could easily put together a portfolio or even record your musical performances. The application season can fly by so use this extra time when you are not busy with school work or extra-curricular activities to get ahead of the deadlines that are lurking after Christmas.

Krystle Leveille

Admissions Counselor

I Read My First Application Today

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

I read my first application today.

I de-constructed the transcript.  I read, evaluated and summarized the recommendations.  I read through the interview evaluation.  I summarized the extra-curricular activities.

And then I got to the essay.

It was at that point that I turned the calculator off; I pushed my laptop to the side.  I minimized the spreadsheet and put my pencil down.

I sat back in my chair and I read.

Up until that point, I’d been evaluating data and building a composite of who this student is, using a collection of sources, mainly other people’s voices.  The essay was my first chance to hear the student’s voice.    I was making a painting of the student and all of a sudden, the paintbrush was in the student’s hand.

Suddenly, the rest of the file made sense.  Suddenly, I had a sense of who this student is.   Suddenly, it was time to pick up the pencil, turn on the calculator and move on to the next application.

Andrew N. Carter
Associate Director of Admissions

You’ve Been on the Road Too Long When…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

As an admissions staff, we criss-crossed the country this fall, meeting with students while visiting over 1,000 high schools. For many of us, visiting with students in their hometowns is a highlight of this job but it can be exhausting. Here’s how you know you’ve been on the road too long:

-Running low on toiletries, you go MacGyver with office supplies. Paper clips to hold your hair back? More than once.

-Your steady diet of comfort food – grilled cheese, French onion soup, buffalo tenders , etc. – has literally SPLIT your favorite business casual slacks.

-You meet someone in line at the Panera and your first question is “So what are you thinking about studying?”

-Your relationship with your GPS (Jennifer) has grown so rocky that you start giving her time-outs in the glove compartment.

It’s a good thing we’re home…

Julia Sanders
Assistant Director of Admissions

Connect With Holy Cross From the Comfort of Your Home

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Have you ever wondered what the freshman dorms are like at Holy Cross? Or what the favorite meals are from Kimball? Or what classes and research experiences are available to biology majors?

These are all great questions to ask a current student during one of our upcoming online chats!  (Next up is tomorrow night’s, from 7-10 PM EST).

Throughout the year, we offer several opportunities for prospective students, parents, and guidance counselors to connect with current students and admissions staff online. The chats are open forum, so you can ask your own questions or just sign on to see what others are talking about.  It’s a great way to learn more about the school and the application process without having to leave your living room.

Registering for a chat is easy! Simply visit our chat web site, click on “Register for Chat Event” (it’s in black at the top of the page), fill in your information, and you’re off and running! The chat screen will pop up and you’ll be greeted by many friendly Holy Cross representatives who are available to answer your questions.

We look forward to chatting with you!

Diane Soboski
Assistant Director of Admission

Five Reasons You Should Attend This Sunday’s Open House

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Just in case  wanting to meet all of us wonderful admissions counselors was not enough reason to attend, here are five reasons why you should consider attending this Sunday’s Open House:

1. You get to experience many aspects of campus life all in one single day (including all of our famous hills)!

2. You will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from academic departments, athletics, and extracurricular organizations to ask all of your burning questions.

3. You can learn more about Holy Cross from faculty, students and administrators in a panel setting.

4. You can hear more about both the admissions and financial aid processes from both the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices.

5. You get to have lunch on campus with current students and admissions officers, as well as take a tour of our beautiful campus!

You can register, or walk in! I hope to see all of you this weekend!

Lauren Thornton

Assistant Director of Admissions

I’m About to Apply – What Else Can I Do?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Fall is a time that flies by for Admissions Counselors.  Personally, I can’t believe that it’s already November. In the Admissions Office, we’re getting ready to start reading applications, especially those who have applied for Early Decision (deadline December 15th). As you get ready to hit the “submit” button on the Common Application, I wanted to share a few tips to help make your application the best that it can be:

If you haven’t already, schedule an interview .  Interviews are not required, but are highly recommended as part of our application process. They’re painless, we promise! We just want to have a conversation with you and learn about all the wonderful things you’ve accomplished in high school.

Keep up those senior grades! We know how easy it is to fall prey to “senioritis,” but remember that continuing to do well in senior year is important to us.

Proofread that essay. Make sure to use both proofreaders (Mom, Dad, siblings, friends, etc.),  and proofreaders with perspective (English teachers, Guidance Counselors).

• Feel free to send us any supplemental materials- artwork, music, writing samples, resumes, etc. We like to know about all of your talents, both in and out of the classroom.

Not ready to submit an application to Holy Cross just yet? Don’t worry. There is still time to learn all about HC and our admissions process. Join us at our Open House this Sunday,  November 14th.

Nicole Zervos ‘09

Admissions Counselor

My High School is Holding a College Fair!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Great! Here are a few tips that will enhance your college fair experience:

Do Some Research Before the Fair: Find out what colleges/universities will be attending your fair. Poke around on the websites of schools  in which you are interested. This exercise is bound to crank your brain gears and produce some questions for the college representatives.

Represent Yourself and Your School Well: Many of the college representatives have come a long way and look forward to meeting bright, eager students. So take the time to shake the representative’s hand, look him/her in the eye, introduce yourself, and ask those brilliant questions that you recently thought up. Remember – there is no such thing as a bad question. You will spend the next four years of your life at this school; you should make the effort to know as much as you can about it.

Make the Experience Count: You put in the time researching and visiting the collegerepresentative, now make sure you get credit for it.   Fill out any forms or cards the representative might have on his/her table. Often, these forms/cards will be placed in your admissions file and will be reviewed during the admissions process. Do not miss out on this opportunity to demonstrate interest in each and every school you might be attending in the not-so-distant future.

Dan Weagle ‘08

Admissions Counselor

The Longest Answer to the Simplest Question

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I cannot tell you how many questions I’ve been asked today. This time of year, admission counselors spend the better part of their day fielding questions from students, parents and counselors.   Some require simple answers (yes, we have an English major), while others require a more in-depth response (Montserrat is…).

On occasion, a student will ask a seemingly simple question, and may be surprised by a response that is lengthier than expected. Never is this more true than in the case of the old favorite—the “average GPA” question. Students rightly want to know if their academic performance will measure up in our pool, and frankly we’re glad you asked. But that doesn’t mean we’re able to give you the simple answer you were hoping for. We consider each student within the unique context of their high school, making it impossible to identify a number which we think represents a universally “good” GPA. The grading scale (3.0, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 6.0, 8.0, 10.0, 12.0, to name a few we’ve seen), weighting (or lack thereof), strength of curriculum, grade inflation/deflation and other factors unique to your high school are all considered. We study high school profiles and websites, and sometimes make phone calls to counselors to gather all of the information we need to assess your academic performance. It’s our job to understand what a “good” GPA is at your school. And this time of year, it’s our job to try to explain that to you.

Somewhat flustered by my response, students sometimes follow-up with a question they are sure will elicit a short, numbers-only answer: “What’s your average SAT score?” And I take a deep breath, and we’re off again…

Lynn Verrecchia

Associate Director of Admissions