Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Ada K. van Wyhe

Hometown: Reedley, CA
Year: rising senior! 2012
Major: History, Peace and Conflict Studies concentration, Pre-Law
Activites, clubs: Senior Interviewer for the Office of Admissions, SPUD (Student Programs for Urban Development) at the Nativity School of Worcester, College Democrats, CAB (Campus Activities Board).

Why I love Holy Cross:

I am in love with Holy Cross because of the vast number of opportunities that have been offered to me on this campus, and because the entire Holy Cross community has made my education a true living and learning experience. Coming from over 3,000 miles away, I arrived to Mount St. James during move-in, August 2008, not knowing a single person, and I was immediately embraced by the students and faculty on The Hill. I’m excited by the awesome faculty (Midnight breakfast study session during finals week? Thank you Professor Hooper!), the small class sizes, and especially the fact that we’re a solely undergraduate college. I appreciate that as a community we are all working together toward our goals – for now, and for well beyond our four short years here on campus.

Early Decision Versus Regular Decision

AnnMcDermott.BLOG2During my travels last week I received a number of questions about Early Decision…who should apply, what is the process, are there benefits to applying ED?  If you have had similar questions, please read on!

By applying Early Decision you are stating that Holy Cross is far and away your first choice for college. There should be no doubt in your mind that this is absolutely the place you want to be.  The process is binding, which means that if admitted to Holy Cross, you will withdraw all other applications and enroll here.  This is a serious commitment, so the decision to apply ED should not be made casually.

Unlike Regular Decision, Early Decision files are reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning November 1.  Once an application is complete, the application will be read by two members of the Admissions staff, and then presented to the full Admissions Committee. Students are notified of the decision as soon as they are made.  Therefore, the earlier you apply and complete you application, the earlier you will receive your decision. The deadline for applying ED is December 15.

If you plan on applying for Financial Aid, you will want to submit the CSS Profile at the same time you submit your application for admission.   Our financial aid policies for ED are exactly the same as for Regular Decision.  We are need-blind in the application process, which means that we do not consider the level of financial need in making our admissions decisions. We also meet full demonstrated need for all admitted students.  Financial aid for Early Decision is packaged in exactly the same way as in Regular Decision. However, if you and your parents are interested in comparing aid packages from other colleges, then applying Regular Decision would be the better course of action.

So what are the advantages of applying Early Decision? An Early Decision application demonstrates your commitment to and excitement about attending Holy Cross. Because the applicant pool is smaller, we have more time to evaluate your candidacy.  We respect the commitment you are making to Holy Cross, and value the fact that you are committed to attending the College.  Both of these factors are given serious consideration as part of our decision making process. Also, an Early Decision acceptance alleviates the stress of the college search during the remainder of your senior year!

Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions

How Can I Connect?

JamesRichardson.BLOG2By now, if you’ve made it this far in the search process, and this deep into the Holy Cross website, you’ve “done your homework” in a manner of speaking.  You’ve researched various schools and you know you like Holy Cross, but may still be wondering about a few things, and need some additional information.  So, how else might you connect with us to gather those final pieces of information you need?  No worries, there’s still time, and lots of ways for you to accomplish this.

  • As my colleague Amanda Juriansz mentioned in her most recent blog post, an interview is one of the most important “connections” you can make throughout the process.  Interviewing is one of the single largest expressions of interest you can make in the College, and one of the easiest ways for you to tell us you’re really serious about your application here.  Interviews are offered here on campus until the end of the year, or with an alumnus in your area if that’s easier.  SO, as Amanda said, “What are you waiting for? “
  • Chat it up with us! We will be offering several online chats over the course of the next several weeks and months, so login and chat away with Admissions Counselors, Holy Cross students, and other prospective applicants.  The next online chat will be happening November 4 … we’ll hope to see you online from 7:00 – 10:00PM EST, or for any portion of that time you may be available.
  • Meeting students is always a great way to connect with a college and get a good feel for what life is like there.  In our Meet Some Students section online, you can actually specify your criteria, and choose who you want to connect with!  Whether its connecting with another student from San Francisco, or someone from Visual Arts, you can choose with whom you correspond.
  • You can also make some additional connections with us on staff, or with our Admissions Senior Interviewers through the ‘contact us‘ link on the Admissions page.  We all have photos and email links there – – whether you recognize us or not, make a connection!

And finally, the absolute best way to “connect” is to apply!  Applications for Early Decision consideration are due here in the office December 15, but ED is a rolling process, and we’ll be reviewing applications as soon as November 1st, so feel free to submit your application as soon as it’s ready.  Regular Admission applications are due January 15.  Apply … and get connected!

Good luck!

James T. Richardson
Associate Director of Admission

Still Haven’t Scheduled an Interview?

AmandaJuriansz.BLOG2Well what are you waiting for?!  There are still lots of opportunities to have a personal interview through the admissions office.  Holy Cross offers interviews until December 30th.  Early decision candidates- your interview deadline is November 25th.  So get on the phone and give us a call!  On-campus interviews are offered every weekday 9-4 p.m.

If you’re traveling from outside the northeast and can’t get to Holy Cross, off-campus alumni interviews are available.  All you need to do is submit your common application and then fill out the alumni interviews request form on our Web site.

An interview is the best way to show your interest in a school and also the best way for the admissions committee to get to know you in a personal way.  Transcripts and recommendations are nice, but nothing beats an interview when we’re trying to get a clear picture of what you’re all about.  So if you’re wondering “what can I do to make my application stand out?” here’s your answer:  schedule and interview!

Amanda Juriansz
Assistant Director of Community Outreach

off campus alumni interviews

Declaring a Major

LynnVerrecchia.BLOG2I’m a driver.  I commute over an hour to and from work each day, and spend the better part of the fall months driving around various U.S. cities.  I like to drive, and I think I’m pretty good at it.  I’m not the type of driver who gets flustered or nervous about navigating around new cities.  I’m proud of my ability to quickly figure out the lights/wipers/radio/seat adjustor/cruise control on any rental car, and actually find it kind of exhilarating to drive in a new place.

My current driving conquest is Houston, TX.  I’ve noticed something very distinctive about the experience of driving in Houston.  There are highways–lots of them.  Loops too.  And those highways and loops have lanes–lots of them.  Most highways I’ve experienced in other cities have 3 lanes, and it is understood that speeders use the left, slowpokes use the right and Goldilocks sticks to the middle.  Other than that, the lane you choose means very little.

Not the case in Houston. Most of the highways I’ve driven this week have at least five lanes, and I learned the hard way that the lane you’re in is very important.  A lane could veer off and put you on a different highway at any moment.  The whole road could split in an instant, and if you haven’t chosen your lane wisely, you may find yourself on an unplanned detour or using one of Houston’s many handy u-turn lanes.  You might find yourself shaking your head as your GPS tells you to “stay left, then stay right, then stay right, then stay left”.  In Houston, it feels like you need to choose your lane before you put the car in gear.  It’s enough to turn the experienced calm driver into a nervous and dangerous lane-changer.

There should be an “undeclared” lane for drivers who need more time to figure out where they’re going.  At Holy Cross you can change lanes, and can even change back if you realize you picked the right one the first time.  You can hog two lanes for awhile–or for the whole ride if you like.  You can even drive right down the middle until you feel ready to make a choice.  And if you suddenly find that the path has veered and you’re not on the road you thought you were on, there are always those handy u-turn lanes.

Holy Cross students have until the end of their sophomore year to declare their major.  Many students enter Holy Cross undeclared, some pursue double majors, and many others will change their mind at some point.  So get excited, get in gear and know that we have faith you’ll find your lane when you’re good and ready.

Houston’s highways could learn a thing or two from Holy Cross.

Lynn Verrecchia
Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions

Open House Part Deux

SuzanneTimmons.BLOG2Thank you to all of you who attended our Open House on Sunday, October 4, 2009. After almost three weeks of work travel, it was my first time back on campus and it was a great opportunity to meet with prospective students.

Open House serves as a great “one stop shop” for experiencing life at Holy Cross. We’ll provide you with opportunities to talk with our students, faculty and staff. You will be able to attend information sessions about the admission process or talk with professors about our various majors on campus. Interested in athletics or student clubs or organizations? We’ll connect you with our coaches and club representatives. And perhaps most importantly, you will leave campus with your stomach full of some world famous Holy Cross Mac and Cheese.

If you’re sold on any or all that I have just mentioned, join us for our second Open House of the season. Register here for the November 8, 2009, Open House

Suzanne R. Timmons
Assistant Director of Admissions

Have You Scheduled Your Day Visit Yet?

alyssa-tIt is already October and I am sure a day off from school sounds like a good idea right about now.  What could be better than skipping some classes and coming up to Holy Cross for a day and living the life of a current Crusader?  You might have to make-up some AP course work upon your return but I promise you it will be worth it.  Day Visits are offered to seniors in high school and take place Monday through Friday.  All you have to do is call our office, share your interests, and we will take care of the rest.  At Holy Cross we work hard to try and pair you up with one of our volunteers that match either your academic or extracurricular interests.  We ask that prospective students arrive to Admissions at 8:30 a.m. where they meet up with their host.  During the day most students will have the opportunity to attend a few classes, have a meal at Kimball, hang out in their host’s dorm, and you can even have an interview in Admissions.  There is no better way to get a true feel of what life is like on Mt. Saint James.

So what are you waiting for?

Alyssa Trometter
Admissions Counselor

Newest Admissions Counselor Nicole Zervos Introduces Herself

NicoleZervosHi! My name is Nicole Zervos and I am the newest Admissions Counselor at Holy Cross! I graduated from Holy Cross this past May where I majored in Sociology. I’m from Narragansett, Rhode Island and love the New England area. On a nice summer day, you can probably find me on the beach reading a good book, but I also enjoy heading up to the mountains in the winter to ski and snowboard. I’m a huge Red Sox fan, love to watch the medical mysteries unfold on the TV show House and enjoy spending time with my family, friends and chocolate lab.  At Holy Cross, I was involved in the SPUD community service program and the Appalachia service trips, peer-education, the Sociology department Student Advisory Committee, and working in the Office of Orientation, Transition and Leadership.

Why have I chosen to come back and work in Admissions at Holy Cross? First of all, I was curious to see how the admissions process worked from a different perspective. Because I was a transfer student to Holy Cross, I actually went through the process of applying to college three times! I spent so much time working on applications that I became interested to find out how the selection process operated from the other side. Secondly, and more importantly, it was my positive experience at Holy Cross that has made me want to spread the word to prospective students. Everyone here truly cares about each other and there is a wonderful sense of community on this campus. For example, when I first transferred in to Holy Cross, I thought it would be difficult to get to know people and become integrated into campus life. Within my first week on campus, my Resident Assistant, Community Development Coordinator, and several girls on my floor had all come by my room several times to see how I was doing. My class dean as well as my professors also contacted me to check in and make the adjustment to Holy Cross a smooth one. Now that I have transitioned to being a staff member, nothing has changed! Ever since I started working in the Admissions Office, every member of the Admissions team has been constantly stopping by my office and trying to help me out in any way possible. As you can see, this is a truly special place.

This fall, I’ll be traveling to Connecticut, Westchester County in New York, Western Massachusetts, and Florida. I’m looking forward to meeting students and sharing my experiences at Holy Cross. Best of luck with your senior year and the college application process!

Coming Soon to a City Near You!

diane-sIt’s that time of year again! The warm temperatures are dropping, students are heading back to school, and admissions counselors are packing up their bags and getting ready to hit the road to meet prospective students all over the country.  I often think about how similar the fall season is for high school students and admissions staff. As you all are putting together binders for your classes, meeting new teachers, and mapping out the fastest route from gym to History, we’re doing very similar tasks. I just recently put together my travel binder for the season, I’ll be meeting new guidance counselors that I’ll be working with this year, and I too am trying to plan the quickest way to get from one school to another so that I can meet as many of you as possible in my travels this fall.

We can’t get to every high school, but we do our best to span a large part of the country. You can see what schools we’ve already committed to visiting this year on our Web site. Again, just as your schedule will be changing over the next few weeks while you struggle to fit in every class and extra-curricular you want to do, we too are continuously changing schedules to try to accommodate as many schools as we can. Please check with your guidance department as the date of our visit approaches,  and make sure that our schedules are aligned.

We know this is a busy time, but remember as you run from one class to another, hoping to sneak in before the bell, that somewhere there is an admissions counselor scrambling to get to their next visit on time and hoping that their GPS will hold a signal long enough to get them there. Best of luck as you begin your new school year; and we look forward to meeting you!

Diane Soboski
Assistant Director of Admissions