What’s a verification sheet? Is it important?

It’s about that time of year – applications are pouring in, the phone lines are flooded with calls, and admissions counselors are buried under stacks of files.

You’ve sent in your Common Application, checked with guidance to make sure that they’ve sent along their packet, what’s next?

Verification Form!

Here at Holy Cross we require one final piece of information from you, a verification form. This magical piece of paper will arrive to you in the mail 7-10 days after you send in your application. Enclosed with a letter thanking you for your application, you will find a light purple sheet of paper.

When you receive the form, you will need to do the following:

•    Check over the information at the top and make sure that it is accurate
•    Provide your social security number and birth date (we often have duplicate names in our system, and need to make sure that we can match you to your application)
•    Answer the questions regarding standardized testing, contact with Holy Cross, and limited enrollment programs (*note – we will not use your testing unless you check off the “Yes” box on this form, nor can you be considered for biology or premed with out returning the form)
•    Mail the form back in as soon as possible!

It’s simple, quick, and easy! It will take two minutes and I’d highly recommend filling it out as soon as your receive it, before it makes it’s way to that universal “to be answered” stack of papers in your house.

That’s it from me. Have a great holiday, and enjoy your break from school!

Diane Soboski
Assistant Director of Admissions

What Happens to my Application Once It’s Been Submitted?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Well it’s that time of year again.  For some of you, this time means finishing up some work before the holiday break, searching for the best deal at the mall or relaxing and spending time by the fire with family and friends.  For the world of admissions, it means that reading season is almost upon us.

At this point in time, many of you are probably wondering exactly what happens to your application once it’s been sent to our office. Once your application file is received and is considered complete (it has your application, counselor recommendation letter, teacher recommendation letter, and transcript) it is filed alphabetically in a number of huge filing cabinets located in our office. An admission counselor is assigned to each drawer and is required to complete what we call a “first read” of your application. This requires our lovely yellow reading sheets, in which we record you name, high school, GPA, rank, test scores (if you chose to submit them of course!), the courses you’ve taken, the number of honors, APs, accelerated, advanced classes you’ve taken, the grades you’ve received, and what contact you’ve had with Holy Cross. We also read ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING you send us and briefly summarize each, as well as recording what service, leadership, and extra-curriculars you have been involved in.  Once the entire sheet is complete, your application is ready for a “second read” by another counselor.  The role of the second reader is much less taxing than that of the first.  This second reader double checks the work of the first reader and then records anything else that might stand out. After the second read is complete, the reading of your application is now complete and it is ready to go to our committee!

Happy holidays, happy application completing and happy winter!

Lauren D. Thornton
Admissions Counselor

Holiday Greetings

2008 Admissions holiday card

Wishing you and your families the very best this holiday season!

The Holy Cross Admissions Staff

I Want an Interview… and I Can’t Get One.

Two months ago I wrote a blog about the importance of the interview.  Many of you got the message.  You probably got the same message if you attended an information session on campus or if you met a Holy Cross representative at your school this fall.  You nodded, you understood, you made a mental note — and then you missed the deadline.  Or you called our office recently and found out that we are booked solid through the end of the month.  What now?  Remember not just that we told you to have an interview, but what we said about why.  We want to know you, and our full schedule does not change that fact.  But unfortunately, that fact does not change our full schedule.  So you may not be able to have an interview after all, but you can still help us to know you better.  Some students choose to submit a letter or e-mail “filling in the blanks” that may exist in the absence of an interview.  Such letters can provide additional information about accomplishments, interests and passions.  They can answer some of the questions an interviewer might ask.

If you write it, we’ll read it.  So start filling in those blanks.

Lynn Verrecchia
Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions

Taking Time to Reflect on the Application Process

In his commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005, the writer David Foster Wallace began his speech with the following parable:

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

Foster’s point was that “the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see.”

In the college search and application process, it is so easy to get wrapped up into the details – deadlines, checklists, forms, supplements and requirements.  Taking care of these things is necessary but it can cause students and parents to lose perspective in this process.  This process is one that enables – nay demands, reflection and personal growth on the part of the student and that is perhaps the most valuable part of the college search process.

So as we reach the end of 2008 and you meet your final deadlines, submit your final forms and complete your final checklist, stop for a minute to think about how far you’ve come since this process began, how you’ve matured, begun to think and act independently and are now prepared to make one of the first truly adult decisions of your life – where to spend the next four years.

If you take that time to reflect back on this process, you’ll be prepared with your answer if you’re ever asked the question.

“The water is great – never better.  Thanks for asking.”

Andrew N Carter
Associate Director of Admissions

Sharing is Caring – The Kindness of Holy Cross Students

The people that surround you during your four years of college can truly make or break your experience.  With that in mind,    I just want to take a moment to reflect on how wonderful Holy Cross students can be.  Here’s just one example:

A few weeks ago I was buying some soda pop at the food shop in Hogan.  It was morning, and I was carrying my standard four or five bags (far too many for a normal person) and I’ll admit it, I was flustered.   So flustered,  in fact, that after the clerk had rung in my purchases,  I couldn’t find my wallet.   Panicking, I put all my bags on the ground and knelt down to begin the great search.

On the verge of dumping my belongings all over the floor,  I was stopped by the sweet sweet sound of  “I’ve got it, don’t worry”.   I tried to protest, but the student (whom I’d never met) had already paid for me.

It may have only been $2.50, but during that stressful moment, it made all the difference in the world.   I truly believe that this student’s behavior exemplifies the values that Holy Cross students hold so dear.

(And my wallet was in my pocket).

Julia Sanders
Admissions Counselor