This list is the culmination of my own experiences as an admissions officer as well as of my colleagues in this office and other admissions offices. As you go through them, you may have a lot of “duh” moments and most of these are very much common sense but it’s usually the most obvious things that are the least visible to us. With that said, I hope this list is useful to you as you focus in on the application process.
- Meet all deadlines for Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision. Not meeting a deadline reflects badly on your ability to be responsible and may make an institution feel like you aren’t that interested. It may also reduce your chances of getting in because the class is getting filled and you may be too late to get a spot. If you have an extraordinary circumstances, you should let an admissions officer know in writing or by phone so that we can take that into consideration.
- File your financial aid paperwork early and by the deadline at the latest. Holy Cross requires both the FAFSA and the the CSS Profile forms to be considered for financial aid. The FAFSA form is not available until January 1st but you and one of your parents can go ahead and file for a FAFSA Pin Number that will serve as your signatures on the forms. The longer you wait, the bigger the risk that you may not get as strong a package and if you submit late, the chances of getting financial aid are even slimmer.
- Pay close attention to what each school requires you to submit or strongly recommends you send in regards to standardized testing, essays, letters of recommendation, etc. While strongly recommends doesn’t mean require in the sense that you are disqualified from admission, it does means that you may be placing yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t do what it is that is being strongly recommended.
- Ask teachers early for letters of recommendations. The earlier you ask, the more time they can put into it and produce a well written letter on your behalf. It’s important to keep in mind that you will not be the only student who is seeking that student out for a letter of recommendation.
- Follow up with all counselors and teachers to make sure that they have submitted your paperwork on time and be sure to also send a thank you to them for doing so.
- Proofread your essays very carefully before you submit. I would encourage you to print out your application if you’re filing it online because what you see is mostly likely what we’ll see when we click on print so you want to make sure that it’s formatted to what you want it to look like.
- Demonstrate your interest in a college institution before you apply. A lot of students visit the schools that they get into and from there will make a decision as to where to attend without knowing that many admissions offices take applicants’ demonstrated interest into consideration as a way to determine whether or not the student would enroll if admitted. Just like you all want us to like you and admit you, we want to be liked by you all as well and be admitted in essence.
- Create a professional email address and check that email frequently. Silly or suggestive email addresses, while comical for us to read, are not professional and do not reflect well on you. It’s also important that you don’t use your parents’ email addresses as your own and we can typically tell when this is happening. We like to see students take the lead in the application process because it shows that you’re ready for the independent environment that is a part of the college experience.
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment