Posts Tagged ‘Early Decision’

The Most Fun Part of Our Job

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Zachary WielgusFor the two and a half months that span early November to nearly the end of January, much of our focus is on reading and evaluating Early Decision applications. These students have signed a contract affirming their intense interest in Holy Cross; after all, it requires they remove all other applications they have and commit to attending Holy Cross. (Take it from us, it is a commitment many should be excited about.)

Instead of notifying every student of their decision on the same date — as we do with Regular Decision applicants — we opt for a wrinkle in the admissions process. During the ED months, our office meets in our patented full Committee every 10-14 days to begin crafting the incoming class. For those students who have made that important commitment to Holy Cross and know this is their top choice, we feel it’s important to tell them the good news in ways outside of an acceptance letter. We do what no other school does: we call them to tell them they’ve been accepted.

Below you will find a compilation of reactions that were recorded during these phone calls. There was disbelief, there were tears, there were many thank you’s, and there were a lot of full voice mailboxes (clean out your voicemail, people!). There’s truly no way to capture the emotion during these amazing calls … but here’s our best effort:

 

Just got off the plane to his grandparents’ for Chinese New Year. “This is the best New Year gift!”

Very excited! Could hear her start to cry when she hung up.

“Oh my gosh I got in?! It’s my top choice and I didn’t think I was going to get in!”

“No way! No way! Are you lying? No way!”

Total silence and then he whispered, “I got in” to his friend. Really cute. Very happy.

Screaming and gasping and OMG’s galore.

Incredibly excited. Issued at least 20 “thank yous” before the call was over. Couldn’t get off the phone soon enough to begin celebrating.

“What? I got in??? I’m so confused. And excited!!”

“Best Christmas present ever!” Mom got on phone, crying too, very thankful.

“My heart is beating so fast!”

Absolutely started screaming and crying on the phone – SO excited to be a Crusader.

He was trying to play it tough but started to break down a bit.

“Wow! Wow! Wow!” followed by giggling, hyperventilating, and maybe even some tears of joy.

Very excited – said she was going to do her happy dance.

“Can you hold on one sec?” He then screams, “I just got into Holy Cross!!!”

Broke down crying on the train and couldn’t focus on anything I said after I told her she was accepted. Kept saying “you made my day.”

Amid tears of joy: “I just want you to know I’m so honored to be accepted.”

“This is..probably…the best….phone call… I’ve ever received. You should see the smile on my face right now.” Can’t wait to share the news with parents who are “on the edge of their seats.” “I had to step out of varsity bowling practice once I saw that you called.”

The Dark, Mysterious Committee Room

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

AshleySitting in a dark room … with candy

 

After almost four months at my new job as Admissions Counselor at Holy Cross, I have learned one thing: to throw all of my expectations out the window.  So when I received my first calendar invite to Committee, I had no idea what to think.  My colleagues had given me a brief overview of the process: the dark room, the projector, the snacks.  But like almost everything in Admissions, nothing is really that clear until you experience it for yourself.

 

Going into my first committee, I’ll admit … I was nervous.  Naturally, I sat next to the other newbie Admissions staff members(strength in numbers, right?).  Having my reading sheet notes projected in front of my peers made me almost as nervous as applicants are about their credentials being projected in front of the Committee.  After all, I was not far removed from the college search and application process.  Fresh out of college, how was I expected to participate in making life-changing decisions for students only five years younger than myself?  But I guess that is the beauty of our Committee process.  As a new employee, I have more say in shaping the community here than I would at any other entry-level job.  I get to hear all of the unique perspectives of my colleagues and all of our applicants’ amazing stories.  Our Committee process gives every applicant and every staff member a voice.

 

Going into some of our final Early Decision Committees this week, I am feeling more confident.  The Committee process is becoming clearer to me now.  Instead of nervousness, a sense of excitement comes over me whenever we enter the Committee room.  I am excited to help shape the Holy Cross Class of 2018 … and some candy.

 

Ashley Johnson
Admissions Counselor

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

Application Deadlines: Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

LynnVerrecchia.BLOG2Every year around this time we take a staff photo which becomes our office holiday card. The card is sent to student volunteers and to guidance counselors we’ve met during our travels. It’s meant as a gesture of thanks for volunteers and one of goodwill toward our high school counterparts. We don Santa hats and Holy Cross gear and enthusiastically grin for the camera. Our smiles show that we love our jobs and that we truly wish those around us a wonderful holiday season.

The behind-the-scenes picture is a bit more harried. Our hectic fall travel season and various in-office responsibilities push the holiday card to the back burner for several weeks. It is typically all but forgotten until one attentive staff member points out that the holidays are in fact around the corner. We scramble to find a day when everyone will be in the office and a time when interviews are not scheduled. We raid the bookstore and scrounge for purple scarves that have not already been scooped up by students and visitors. We cringe at the gloomy skies that insist on threatening rain on picture day, because we know that rescheduling is not an option. We pay for expedited shipping and keep our eyes fixed on the mailbox. We stay late to print labels and address envelopes. We send the card out with hours to spare. Then, and only then, do we sit back and enjoy the picture ourselves.

In the end, our students and colleagues see only the final product. They smile at our gesture and pin our photo to their bulletin boards. They appreciate what we have done. The frantic nature of picture day does not show. Only we know that making this picture happen was a race to the finish.

 Last minute application filers deal with similar stresses. The computer suddenly crashes; a teacher assigns a major project; a family emergency crops up. That essay is due tomorrow and suddenly the conditions are not ideal. Just as we learn (and relearn) every year, the applicant learns that a looming deadline leaves little room for error. Though your final product is meant for others, the process is for you. Aim for more than just a strong outcome–try to allow for a positive experience along the way.

Holy Cross’ Early Decision application deadline is December 15. The Regular Decision deadline is January 15.

 

Lynn Verrecchia

Assistant Director of Admissions

How do I Know if Admissions has Received all of my Application Materials?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

DianeSoboski.BLOG2You’ve filled out the Common Application and submitted it online, double and triple checking to make sure that you’ve attached your essay upload. You’ve filled out the paper work at your guidance office requesting that they send along your transcript and recommendation letters to Holy Cross (in Massachusetts, not Indiana). You’re positive that everything has been sent to us. We have it, right? You think we have it. You hope we have it. How do you know if we have it?

There’s no need to stay up nights worrying about whether or not we have your materials, you can now check the status of your application materials online! Simply go to our online checklist, click “register”, put in your personal information and you will be provided with a glimpse into our database. More specifically, you’ll see your application checklist as it appears in our records.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to tell exactly what (if anything) is still missing. A list of required application materials will appear along with notation of whether or not each item has been received.

***One caution – It takes some time for us to receive your materials in the mail, open our mail, sort our mail, and input the pieces of your application into our system.

DO NOT PANIC if you do not see all of your materials listed. You may be positive that you sent in that Verification Form, you know that you put the right postage on it, it should have been here, it’s not listed, you may check compulsively – it WILL eventually appear. Give it some time, and if after 10-14 days you still don’t see your materials appear, feel free to call our office and we’ll tell you whether or not we think you need to submit the missing piece again.

We wish you all the best of luck as you finish up those college applications over the next few months. You’re in the home stretch of your application season, and we can’t wait to begin ours!

 

Diane Soboski
Assistant Director of Admissions

Early Decision Versus Regular Decision

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2During my travels last week I received a number of questions about Early Decision…who should apply, what is the process, are there benefits to applying ED?  If you have had similar questions, please read on!

By applying Early Decision you are stating that Holy Cross is far and away your first choice for college. There should be no doubt in your mind that this is absolutely the place you want to be.  The process is binding, which means that if admitted to Holy Cross, you will withdraw all other applications and enroll here.  This is a serious commitment, so the decision to apply ED should not be made casually.

Unlike Regular Decision, Early Decision files are reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning November 1.  Once an application is complete, the application will be read by two members of the Admissions staff, and then presented to the full Admissions Committee. Students are notified of the decision as soon as they are made.  Therefore, the earlier you apply and complete you application, the earlier you will receive your decision. The deadline for applying ED is December 15.

If you plan on applying for Financial Aid, you will want to submit the CSS Profile at the same time you submit your application for admission.   Our financial aid policies for ED are exactly the same as for Regular Decision.  We are need-blind in the application process, which means that we do not consider the level of financial need in making our admissions decisions. We also meet full demonstrated need for all admitted students.  Financial aid for Early Decision is packaged in exactly the same way as in Regular Decision. However, if you and your parents are interested in comparing aid packages from other colleges, then applying Regular Decision would be the better course of action.

So what are the advantages of applying Early Decision? An Early Decision application demonstrates your commitment to and excitement about attending Holy Cross. Because the applicant pool is smaller, we have more time to evaluate your candidacy.  We respect the commitment you are making to Holy Cross, and value the fact that you are committed to attending the College.  Both of these factors are given serious consideration as part of our decision making process. Also, an Early Decision acceptance alleviates the stress of the college search during the remainder of your senior year!

Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions

How Can I Connect?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

JamesRichardson.BLOG2By now, if you’ve made it this far in the search process, and this deep into the Holy Cross website, you’ve “done your homework” in a manner of speaking.  You’ve researched various schools and you know you like Holy Cross, but may still be wondering about a few things, and need some additional information.  So, how else might you connect with us to gather those final pieces of information you need?  No worries, there’s still time, and lots of ways for you to accomplish this.

  • As my colleague Amanda Juriansz mentioned in her most recent blog post, an interview is one of the most important “connections” you can make throughout the process.  Interviewing is one of the single largest expressions of interest you can make in the College, and one of the easiest ways for you to tell us you’re really serious about your application here.  Interviews are offered here on campus until the end of the year, or with an alumnus in your area if that’s easier.  SO, as Amanda said, “What are you waiting for? “
  • Chat it up with us! We will be offering several online chats over the course of the next several weeks and months, so login and chat away with Admissions Counselors, Holy Cross students, and other prospective applicants.  The next online chat will be happening November 4 … we’ll hope to see you online from 7:00 – 10:00PM EST, or for any portion of that time you may be available.
  • Meeting students is always a great way to connect with a college and get a good feel for what life is like there.  In our Meet Some Students section online, you can actually specify your criteria, and choose who you want to connect with!  Whether its connecting with another student from San Francisco, or someone from Visual Arts, you can choose with whom you correspond.
  • You can also make some additional connections with us on staff, or with our Admissions Senior Interviewers through the ‘contact us‘ link on the Admissions page.  We all have photos and email links there – – whether you recognize us or not, make a connection!

And finally, the absolute best way to “connect” is to apply!  Applications for Early Decision consideration are due here in the office December 15, but ED is a rolling process, and we’ll be reviewing applications as soon as November 1st, so feel free to submit your application as soon as it’s ready.  Regular Admission applications are due January 15.  Apply … and get connected!

Good luck!

James T. Richardson
Associate Director of Admission

Should I apply Early Decision or Regular Decision?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Jim_r_tnMany of you have likely met some of us here in Admissions,
maybe even me(!), over the course of the last two months if we’ve been in your
part of the country, or even the world traveling around visiting
schools and seeking out the best students!  Some of you have attended a
college fair, or an evening reception, met some alumni, maybe had a personal
interview, and hopefully you’ve been to campus by now at least once to see for
yourself all of the simply amazing things you’ve been hearing about.
You’ve followed the advice of others and “demonstrated
interest” to us … but you’re wondering, “how else can I
demonstrate my interest?
“.  Well, the strongest demonstration of
interest you can make is to apply; that’s the next step.

So what happens to your application after you click
‘submit’, or place it in your mailbox for the postal worker to deliver it
to us?  Your application travels many miles, whether through the postal
system, or in cyberspace, there are many hours that are investing in your
application after its submitted.  Our clerical staff processes it, matches
it up with all the miscellaneous materials that may already be here, and they
build a physical file for you.  Your application is then read by several
of the Counselors and given a full cover-to-cover review and evaluation.
Once it has been prepared by the Counselors in the read process, it then goes before
the 13 member selection committee for a full presentation and further
discussion.  Together, all 13 of us make all application decisions.
The process then comes full circle with a decision letter being generated by
our clerical staff, and mailed off to you to arrive back in your mailbox.

So now the question comes up in your mind, how do I
apply?  Some of you have already asked us for our opinion, “Should
I apply Early Decision, or just file a Regular Admission application?

To enter the Early Decision process [deadline: December 15] is a highly
personal choice; one only you, the student, can make.  You may only apply
to one college or university under an Early Decision plan.
Why?  It’s binding.  If you were to apply Early Decision
here (or anywhere) you will be saying in effect, “Holy Cross, you’re my
number one choice .. I love you more than anywhere else (and, well, after you
visit here, how would you not be able to say that!?) .. and if you take
me, I guarantee I’ll enroll, and will withdraw all of my other college
applications whether I’ve received a decision from them yet or not.”
That’s a pretty big statement to make, right?  Even with that said, ED can
be an absolutely terrific process to go through … but you just absolutely
have to know 110% that this is where you want to be, and know that you won’t be
changing your mind later.

Why is ED so terrific?  For one, you’ll find out
our decision much earlier than if you were Regular Admission.  This is
called “rolling notification”.  Our decision process typically
takes about four weeks from the time your application becomes complete.
Many times it happens somewhat quicker than that, but four weeks is an
average.  We can make three possible decisions with your ED application:
“Accept” (Congratulations, you’re coming here!); “Defer”,
which simply means we’re moving your application to the Regular Admission pool,
and you’ll now learn your final decision alongside all of the Regular Admission
candidates (you’ll still be notified of the “Defer” decision within
approximately 4 weeks); or “Not Admit”.  Whatever the decision,
we utilize a rolling notification so that you, the student, will know how to
proceed with any other application you were considering submitting – –
either to move forward with them and make sure they’re all complete, or
withdraw them because you’re coming to Holy Cross!  🙂

If you decide to apply Regular Admission [deadline: January
15] you will receive your decision letter in the mail either in the last few
days of March or first few days of April.  While this seems like a long
time away, trust me, it will be here before you know it.  Applying
Regular Admission keeps all of your options open, and allows you to consider
all of your admission decisions from all the schools to which you’ve applied
until May 1.

There are certainly pros and cons to both application
processes.  Because Early Decision is such a personal choice, and a big
commitment, its a decision we can’t answer for you … only you, the student,
can know for sure that this is the place you would like to attend for the next
four years, and be connected with for the rest of your life.  Best of luck
with your process, however you choose to apply, and never hesitate to ask us
questions as you go through it – – that’s why we’re here.

Finally, if you’re eligible to do so, get out and VOTE
on Tuesday … this is history in the making!

James T. Richardson
Associate Director of Admissions