Director of Admissions’ tips for application process

Annmcdermott I hope you are enjoying getting to know members of the Admissions Staff.  I have been reminded by a staff member (okay, it was Kelli) that I have been invisible since my opening greeting.  So here is a bit of my story:

I am originally from Wilton, CT (though born in CA) and attended public schools there. I sort of stumbled upon Holy Cross, and after a visit to campus knew that this was where I wanted to spend my four years of college. I was a psychology major, but took full advantage of the broad range of classes offered here. I have spent all of my professional life working in the field of admissions, returning to work in the Holy Cross admissions office in 1989.  My husband Ed is also a graduate of Holy Cross. He is an attorney by profession, and on the side he too is employed by the College. He teaches a class on legal reasoning and rhetoric, and coaches the College’s mock trial and moot court teams.  Our oldest child, Brian, is a sophomore here, and daughter Lauren is a junior in high school. Will she follow in mom, dad, and bother’s footsteps? That’s a blog for the future.

My tip for making the college application process a bit saner: Don’t get sucked into the hysteria that frequently escalates at this time of year. Getting distracted by the frantic conversations among classmates about who’s applying where, deadlines, etc. is simply not helpful.  Stay focused. Be organized. Maintain perspective. And breathe.

Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions

The Standardized Test Affair

DrewTo submit or not to submit, that is the question.

In light of the opportunity that you all had this past Saturday morning to suffer the slings and arrows for several hours with your number 2 pencil, I thought it was time to address the standardized test affair.

When we made the decision to go test-optional a few years back, initially we heard a great sigh of relief from students, parents and guidance counselors across the land.  But soon, we realized that this decision would have unexpected consequences – applicants now were pressed with the decision of whether or not to submit their standardized test scores and this created its own form of anxiety.

But students lose sight of what we know all too well — your file in the Admissions Office at Holy Cross will be filled with four years worth of stories of your accomplishments, hopes, wishes, desires, perspective and character and none of these things, I repeat, none of these things fit within those five identical circles labeled A-B-C-D-E.

So submit or don’t submit – it’s completely up to you but know that we made the decision to go optional because standardized testing is simply not a big part of our decision making process.  We’re quite capable of making decisions on applications without standardized test scores.  If you don’t submit your scores, we simply don’t discuss the matter.  If you do submit your scores, they will be a part of our process but a very small part.

But don’t worry about making this decision now.  After you’ve submitted your application to Holy Cross, we will send you a verification form.  On that form, we will ask you to re-verify a few key pieces of information and also ask you once and for all whether you’d like us to use your standardized test scores as part of your application.

In closing, I’d like to send my thanks to the students I saw on Friday at Brooks School, Lawrence Academy and Groton School.  You guys made waking up at 5:15 in the morning well worth it.

Andrew N Carter
Associate Director of Admissions

The 411 on Worcester

Tran Greetings from good old Worcester!  I’ve been in the office the last two days but spent the rest of my week prior traveling around to Worcester schools.  Though not as exotic a travel territory as my other colleagues who have been to the Windy City and fascinating Europe, I must say that I loved my travels nonetheless because it gave me a great opportunity to really explore Worcester.  Before this, all I really knew of Worcester was Holy Cross and a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Dakao on Park Avenue which my husband and I regularly frequent.  There are lots of differing views on Worcester, some good and some negative, so I thought I’d offer my take on Worcester in case you weren’t at all familiar with the city or have questions about it.

First of all, Worcester is now the 2nd largest city in New England (we beat Providence recently who we’ve been neck to neck with for this prize slot behind Boston which will probably remain #1 for many more years to come) and with being the 2nd largest city, there are lots of resources and opportunities available.  But I think it’s one of those cities that these resources and opportunities are not readily visible and you have to do some searching and digging for them.  If you were only glimpsing Worcester from the highway, it would be easy to think that Worcester is run down with lots of industrial buildings.  But take a closer look and you will see that it has a lot more to offer.  There are numerous cultural offerings throughout the city including a wonderful art museum (that I have yet to visit, but have heard many praises for!).  There is a vast array of restaurants offering cuisines from Vietnamese (my personal favorite) to Mediterranean to African to American.  There are a number of cultural festivals that take place throughout the year as well such as the African Cultural Festival and the Blackstone Canalfest, which is a street festival with music, food, dance, art, etc.  There is a great deal of diversity in the city with a huge variety of ethnic groups represented.  So for those of you who are already culture junkies, Worcester is a treasure trove and for those of you eager to explore different cultures, Worcester is equally exciting.

As a large city, Worcester has many needs.  That presents HC students with many opportunities to practice one of the tenets of the Jesuit tradition: men and women for others.  Students are able to be very involved in service and tap into a lot of different service areas from working with children to public health to athletics.  These activities also serve as wonderful learning opportunities as well.  In addition, students are able to get academic year internships in the city that range from working in business areas to the sciences to education.

All in all, I feel like Worcester is a great backdrop for a college environment because you are able to apply what you learn in the classroom immediately by simply leaving campus for a moment and venturing into the city.  And Worcester is currently going through a great deal of revitalization so it’s an even more exciting time to be here because you can be a part of that.  So I invite you to take a closer look at Worcester, especially in person if you can.  Worcester gets a bad rap sometimes and I feel it’s the product of negative first impressions.  But as they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.  So I encourage you to do some digging and really explore all that Worcester has to offer.  Here are some links that you can use to start your exploration of Worcester:

Tran Kim-Senior
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment

Pick a name and stick with it: part 2

Pmaloney Greetings from South Dakota!  It’s actually in the high 70’s and sunny, so I’m pretty excited.  Today’s post is not going to be long – actually, I’m building off of/copying from a previous entry from Lynn.  (She’s smart.)  Plus, you might already be getting tired of reading my entries…

Anyway, as Lynn pointed out last week, it is very important for the colleges that you are looking at to have your correct contact information – name, address, email, high school, etc.  So, if you are reading this and thinking, “hmm…I seem to be getting duplicate mailings from Holy Cross”, or “my name is spelled wrong on this envelope from Holy Cross”, well, there’s one thing you should do – let us know!  If you just moved or changed your email address since your first joined the mailing list, or we happen to have a more “inventive” spelling of your name, you should tell us.  Simply send an email to and give us the corrected information as well as what is incorrect.  (That makes it easier to find…)  This will take you all of 30 seconds and will clear up a lot of confusion that might occur later on in the winter.

Here’s some photos from my current trip.  Next stop: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

20070924071crop 20070924072crop

Patrick Maloney ’02
Assistant Director of Admissions