Placed on the Wait List? Here’s What To Do


photos by Thomas Rettig
                                                                                   photo by Thomas Rettig

Happy spring!  Last Saturday our office released admissions decisions online, and earlier this week we mailed out our notifications. We are so proud of our applications from all over the world!  In total, we received around 6,700 applications for ultimately about 750 spots.  That means that we had more qualified candidates than we had room to offer, and many great students were given a spot on the wait list.  For the last few weeks our office has received phone calls and emails from prospective students who wanted to know more about how the wait list works, so I wanted to take this opportunity to address their questions:

1. The first thing that students should do is log into their Holy Cross account (please go here to do so) and formally accept their spot on the waitlist.  This will change their status in our system and let us know that  they are still interested.

2. Students should consider sending us (via email) an update as to what they have been doing since they submitted their application back in January.  Did you change your classes? Have you earned some improved grades? Did you start a new activity or job? We would love to hear what’s new!

3. To keep their options open, waitlisted students should send their deposit to another institution by May 1.

4. After the national enrollment deadline of May 1, we will know what our numbers are in terms of admitted students accepting our offer of acceptance. If it is determined that spaces are available, students on the wait list will be reevaluated by the Admissions Committee. The overall academic and personal record will be considered, as will the level of interest the student has expressed in attending Holy Cross. 

I hope that this information helps students and their families better understand our process.  Please do keep in touch with us via phone (508-793-2443), email (, Facebook, and Twitter; we would love to hear from you!

Making Decisions in Committee


So sorry for the radio silence–we have been incredibly busy focusing our on applicant pool!  Since mid-February, our counseling staff have been reviewing applications and shaping the Class of 2020.  From 9am to 4:30pm, my counseling colleagues and I sit together in a room with the shades drawn and the projector screens up to make decisions on applicants hopeful to be part of the Holy Cross community.  While we drink coffee and eat a variety of snacks, we look at each student’s application carefully to determine their potential fit at the College.  We also look at our master list of applicants for this year, as well as study transcripts, Common App essays, teacher and counselor recommendations, SAT/ACT/AP/TOEFL test scores, a variety of types of art supplements, and any other admission items that may come our way!


2016 has certainly been a great year for us so far, and I have learned some things that I wanted to share with prospective students and their families:


1. Contact is so important!  We in the Admissions Office really do appreciate hearing from applicants, whether it’s during a visit to Mt. St. James or from a simple email. We want to admit students who want to be a part of the Crusader community, so please do reach out to us!

2. Please don’t hesitate to share your writing. Reading application essays is a treat for me and my colleagues.  When a student sends us an additional statement, selection of poems, article, or research paper, we get really excited!  Seeing multiple examples of an applicant’s writing is a great way to get a sense of the person as a student.  At Holy Cross, students are expected to do a lot of writing, so if we can see samples now, we are able to make a more informed decision on that applicant.

3. High school students today are incredible. I have read so many wonderful, funny, insightful, warm, thoughtful essays. I have looked over so many  extensive lists of school activities, service opportunities, trips abroad, professional internships and jobs, numerous awards, amazing athletic triumphs, and stellar performances.  It is clear to me in reviewing applications that students give so much of their time to hone their crafts, to pursue their personal passions, and to give back to their communities.  Reading about their diverse experiences has been wonderfully inspiring!