Introduction: Tran Kim-Senior

Hello everyone!  While I did not have the thrill of experiencing life at Holy Cross as an undergraduate student myself, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here as an admissions officer.  Now in my second year in the Holy Cross admissions office, I am a bit more familiar with Holy Cross than I was at this point last year.  Holy Cross is truly a unique college institution that really values the development of the whole person and does an incredible job to that end.  What stands out to me the most about the atmosphere here is the strong and extremely close-knit community that exists here between students, staff and faculty members.  Friends and support are two things that are easy to come by here.  In the office, I coordinate the recruitment of ALANA students (Asian American, Latino American, African-American and Native American) and am traveling to parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, parts of New York City and the state of Virginia.

I was born originally in Cambodia and came to the United States, specifically Richmond, Virginia, when I was eight years old.  I have lived in northeastern Connecticut for nearly four years now and when I’m not working, I spend most, if not all, of my time with my husband and baby, Amaya.  If I am lucky to have free time outside of these two major commitments in my life, I like shop, read and catch up on current events.  I look forward to meeting you through my recruitment travels and when you come to campus.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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

Should I apply Early Decision or Regular Decision?

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

Demonstrated Interest Part Deux

So what if you can’t come to campus to “demonstrate your interest”?  Does this mean that when it comes to Admissions, you’re at a disadvantage?  Should you uproot your family and move across the country so that you have easy access to visiting? Certainly not.

Rest assured that your chances of being admitted to a college do not increase exponentially depending upon the number of times you physically step on campus.  That’s not what we’re going for.  There are many ways that prospective students from every corner of the globe can convey their interest to a college.  Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, the internet is a great vehicle for connecting.  Some of the ways that we invite you to engage with us are through online chats, “Meet Some Students” or simply emailing questions to an Admissions Counselor (look under “Get Connected” on the Admissions website, ).  You can also join our mailing list or take virtual tour.

If you want to interview, but know you can’t make it to campus to have one, worry not.  Holy Cross offers students the opportunity to have an Alumni Interview conducted within close proximity to your hometown.  These interviews are intended only for students who live outside of New England.  Students who request an Alumni Interview must submit their applications to Holy Cross before arrangements can be made.  The deadline for requesting an interview is December 1st and Early Decision candidates are not eligible.

So while we’d love for you to come to campus and experience our beautiful campus firsthand, we understand that this is not feasible for all of our applicants.  We are more than willing to hear your feedback and answer your questions via the internet.  See you in cyberspace!

Allison P. Rose ’06
Assistant Director of Admissions

Now Visiting a High School Near You

It is that time of year again, the leaves are beginning to change, the weather is getting colder…and college admissions representatives are out on the road. One of the main reasons why we travel all over the country is to visit your high schools. In fact, that is what we spend the majority of our time doing during the fall months. Although you can gain useful information about the colleges that you are interested in through looking at their website or requesting information from their office or stopping by a table at a college fair, one of the best ways to demonstrate your interest in a college is to come to a rep’s visit. The high school visit is your opportunity to learn a little more about the college, ask the rep questions, and truly get a better understanding about what the college is really all about. Since we spend months planning these visits, it’s really nice to come to a high school and have students who are interested!

What typically happens during a high school visit is the representative is placed in a conference room or at a table in your guidance or college counseling office and usually meets with students for about thirty to forty-five minutes. Students are able to ask questions of the representative or the representative will give a brief overview of the college if students have not been able to visit yet. The representative will hand out useful information about the college and usually have you fill something out, such as an inquiry card, which says you attended a visit. These high school visits are important for you to attend because not only do you typically get to meet with a representative in a smaller group and be able to ask specific questions that you might not feel comfortable asking in a tour group or information session, but you demonstrate your interest in the college and we as representatives will remember that you took time out of your busy schedule to come down and see us.

Find out when a Holy Cross representative is visiting your high school.

Lauren D. Thornton
Admissions Counselor

College Fair Information Cards

So you’re at a college fair and you see a representative from Holy Cross. You’ve already visited, interviewed and come to our October Open House and so you ask yourself “what’s the point of stopping by the table and filling out one of those information cards? I’m clearly already on the mailing list.”

Well guess what, there’s more to those little cards than just adding you to our mailing list and sending you our glossy viewbook. And the point is what most colleges call “demonstrated interest”. Most schools you’re looking at track all of the times you’ve made contact with the college and add it to your admissions file. So when you apply we find glowing recommendations, your high school transcript, your college essay and a list of all the times you’ve taken a tour, attended an open house, met with us at your high school, and taken advantage of an interview or Day Visit.

The biggest way that demonstrated interest can help you with the college process is that the more time you spend engaged in conversation with college admissions staff and visiting the campus, the more you get an idea of what a particular school can offer you. By sitting in on classes, taking advantage of an interview, taking a tour or attending an Open House, you get a real first-hand glance of a particular campus climate. Ultimately, this will help you to determine which school is the best fit for you.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all colleges value demonstrated interest the way we do.  It’s a good idea to ask every college that you’re applying to what their policy is regarding demonstration of interest.

See information on our visit options.

We hope to see you on campus soon!

Suzanne R. Timmons
Assistant Director of Admissions

Visiting Campus

AmandaHello from Oklahoma City!

Travel season has been busy.  In the last two weeks I’ve been through Texas, Arkansas, and now Oklahoma.  A question that’s come up several times is, “How do I plan a visit?  Do I have to call ahead?”  Visiting is one of the most informative ways to decide whether or not a college is right for you.  Most schools do not require you to call ahead to let them know you would like to go on a tour or attend an information session.  All you have to do is show up in the Admissions office!  The exception to this is if you would like to have an interview or sit in on some classes.  These types of visits require you to call at least two weeks ahead of your visit to schedule a time.  It’s usually possible to visit two schools in one day, so get out those maps and start planning your road trip

Amanda Juriansz
Assistant Director of Community Outreach

Open House Reflections – Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions!

Thanks to all of you who came out to Open House on Sunday, October 5th.
It was so nice to see all of your smiling faces (sometimes for the second or third time!)  And, for those of you who missed it – fear not!  We’re holding a second one on November 16th,  from 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM.  You can register in advance online.

Open House is our “one stop shop” for experiencing life at Holy Cross.  You and your family can take a campus tour;  sit in on faculty, student, and admissions panels;  talk to representatives from various clubs, organizations, and athletic teams;  and most importantly,  sample the food!

And now for some reflection and advice:

While I spoke to many wonderful students and parents with many wonderful questions, at times it felt like I wasn’t getting enough questions. I left Open House wondering if I somehow came across as more intimidating than I had previously considered. I mean, I suppose the hefty 6’4 stature, guns of steel, and world champion logger status could throw you,  but I’m actually quite warm and smiley when you get to know me. I kid, I kid (I’m actually rather lanky and clumsy), but I kid to drive home my point:   Colleges host Open Houses and other similar programs specifically to give you the opportunity to get your questions answered. We know that trying to decide on where to apply to college can be a very overwhelming and stressful process. And the guidebooks, independent counselors, school counselors, and best friend’s sister’s of the world only know so much.  So be smart consumers, and take advantage of the people in the know.  We are here to help. And we are not scary.

Julia Sanders
Admissions Counselor

The Best College Visit Ever

The last few weeks have certainly been a blur as all of us in the Admissions Office have crisscrossed the country visiting high schools, meeting with guidance counselors and chatting with perspective students.  Regardless of what city we’re in, one thing stays consistent for all of us – they’re just aren’t enough hours in the day to get all of the work done.  In that way, we have something in common with all those high school seniors that we are meeting with on the road – many of them seem overwhelmed by the combination of the commitments in the classroom and the pressure of the application process.  There simply isn’t enough time to get it all done and this carries over into their college visits.  The family pours out of the car, runs to catch the tour, the information session and then sprints back to the car to make it home to write essays and finish homework.

I’m here today to call upon everyone just to slow down.

Seriously – slow down.

Holy Cross alum and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins said the following about education:

Although teaching and learning themselves have been motorized by the hyper-pace of information, it is good to remember that the true tempo of education has always involved a deceleration. . . .  a shift from the urgencies and demands of the world to the more leisurely pace of discussion, the cadence of study and reflection, the seeming stop-time of engrossed thought.

So, when visiting colleges this fall, instead of sprinting from car to tour to info session to car, you should encourage your family to simply slow down.  Schedule your visits so there’s enough time to linger, to truly experience a college.  The most valuable insight from a college visit often comes when you’re not looking for it – a door held for you when you least expect it; the friendly smile from a professor who passes you on the sidewalk; or an inquisitive student’s question in the classroom as you walk by.  You’ll only notice these if your pace is leisurely and you just might experience the best part of education – the deliciousness of deceleration.

Andrew N Carter
Associate Director of Admissions

The why and the how

LynnFill out Common Application?  Check!  Request transcript?  Check!  Ask favorite teacher for letter of recommendation?  Check!  Have mom or dad write a check?  Check!  Schedule admissions interview?  Screeeeech!  Wait, what?  Do you really need one more thing to add to your endless to-do list?  We say yes.  At Holy Cross, we encourage all applicants to have a one-on-one interview.  We know you’re busy (and hey, we’re busy too!), but we know that the 30 minutes we’ll spend with you is well worth it.

An application for admission contains a lot of information.  Most of it falls into the categories of who (you), what (track team), where (school, community) and when (4 year captain!).  All good information, but something is missing.  The purpose of an interview is to uncover the why (my older sister who I really admire ran track and I wanted to follow in her footsteps) and the how (6 practices a week, rain or shine, even through shin splints) of what you do.  As interviewers, we want to dig a little bit deeper to help your application file resemble the true, whol
e “you” just a little bit more.  That’s it.  No trick questions, no riddles, no puzzles.  Just a friendly conversation with someone who finds you (and your shin splints) interesting.

Interviews are offered on campus through December 31.  Call us now, and cross off one more thing from that ridiculously long list.  We’ll get to know you a little bit better, and maybe you’ll learn something about Holy Cross–and yourself–in the process.

Lynn Verrecchia
Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions