Committee Has Begun!

After a frenzied few months of application reading, we’re back and ready to blog even more.  Miss us? We missed you, too.


For the next five weeks, the HC admissions committee will be selecting the next class of Crusaders.  Decisions won’t be posted online until sometime after March 15 (we like to remain secretive), so to alleviate your anxiety, we’ll do our best to keep you updated on what’s going on behind the closed doors.


What to expect?  Play-by-play, hard-nosed reporting, pictures, color commentary, food reviews, and historical re-enactment.  What not to?  Answers to the question, “Did I get in?”


First up – the change in the office, and where 12 of us will be  spending the next month:

The conference room, turned into the new waiting room…

New waiting room


…because we’ve turned the original waiting room into our closed-door Committee Room.


Stay tuned for more open doors.

Julia Sanders
Senior Assistant  Director of Admissions

What to do in The Woo, Part I

JuliaSandersAs a Worcester native, and a representative of the Holy Cross admissions office, I spend a lot of time excitedly talking to prospective students about the city affectionately nicknamed “the Woo.”

There are many things that make Worcester an ideal college town and, over the next few months, I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites.  I hope this will benefit current Holy Cross students and future Crusaders alike.

So, without further ado, I give you the best of Worcester, installment one:


Question:  What should I do on a Saturday afternoon when there isn’t a football game?

Answer:  “WAM and Wooberry”

Start the day by taking the Consortium Shuttle to the Worcester Art Museum.  I love this museum because it is doable in one afternoon.  It’s a beautiful space that has a little of everything:  from ancient works to Van Gogh to Warhol.  It’s also free with your Holy Cross ID card.  Fun Fact:  A few scenes from David O. Russell’s widely anticipated film “American Hustle” were shot at the museum.

All that art-viewing is sure to leave you ready to indulge in a sweet treat.  A few short blocks away you’ll find the sweetest addition to the Highland Street corridor, Wooberry frozen yogurt.  Featuring an ever-changing assortment of flavors (Mango, Salted Caramel, and Pumpkin are just a few) , you’re sure to find something to make you smile.

Hope these suggestions help!  Feel free to call the admissions office if you’d like some more.

I Just Got My Letter and I’m Not Happy

To the Holy Cross Office of Admissions:

I just received my decision letter, and you guys got it WRONG.  JUST PLAIN WRONG.


Sound about right?

We in the Admissions Office recognize that many of you are pretty disappointed right now and we just want you to know — we understand, we know this is tough, and we’re really bummed, too.

The frustration you’re feeling is indeed justifiable. You’re probably brilliant, hard working, charismatic, thoughtful, and talented. You’re a three sport captain. A class president. An Irish step dancing mathlete. A bassoon-playing robotics champion. And on top of all of that, you are getting an A in AP Calc! You are an admit-a-la-mode. It may not feel like it right now, but we think the world of you. And though you may have visions of us sitting around some big table, laughing devilishly, drumming our fingers together a’ la Mr. Burns, casting out careless decisions while contemplating the many delicious ways to destroy your life, the fact is, none of us enjoy letting you down. Our decision making committee consists of a bunch of sappy, sensitive nerds, who’ve committed the last four months of their lives to meticulously scouring your applications for every morsel of goodness. Deciding between such wonderful and often equally deserving students is incredibly grueling, and simply heartbreaking. Smiling devilishly? No. We rather feel like sulking in the corner.

Please try not to doubt yourself or wonder what you could have done differently. Due to an insanely competitive applicant pool, we simply couldn’t admit all of the admissible applicants we wanted to. So, while we hope you can trust that we did our best to make the fairest decisions we could, we acknowledge and understand your disappointment.

Please know that you are all stars. You’re part of the most exceptionally talented applicant pool Holy Cross has ever seen, and we’re confident that wherever you end up, you’ll find unlimited success.

Julia Sanders
Assistant  Director of Admissions

Giving Thanks

With looming application deadlines, it’s a busy time of year for college applicants.   To combat stress, we encourage you to take a minute to  stop, smell the turkey, and focus on all of those things for which you are grateful.   If you’re having a hard time finding that gratitude,   take some inspiration from the entries to follow, from my fellow admissions officers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Julia Sanders
Assistant Director of Admissions

Why Holy Cross? Because it’s Spring in New England

Having moved back East after four years of living a stone’s throw from the beach in Los Angeles, people often ask me, ”Why would anyone leave California for Massachusetts?”  To me, the answer is simple:

There is absolutely nothing like spring in New England.

You can smell its approach in the air.  After an arguably “character-building” winter, the first scent of spring is nothing short of amazing.  It’s an indescribable mix of soil and daffodils, mineral-y spring water,  and unadulterated joy.  And the second that scent matures into sunshine, and the temperature ticks above fifty degrees,  the air buzzes with a new sense of excitement.   The flip flops come out,  the window screens descend, the birds are chirpety chirping, Youk is up to bat, and all is right with the world.

New England’s four seasons instill in its patrons a unique sense of appreciation…an appreciation  for the characteristics and rhythms that each season presents, and an appreciation  for how quickly one season is engulfed by the next.  We learn to appreciate every day as it comes.   We watch the multi-colored leaves dancing overhead as we head to the game. We snuggle up and study with hot cocoa after tray-sledding.  We savor every last inch of spring sunshine from blankets on the quad.  We eat lobstah’ and chowdah’ with sunburned noses, and then we get excited to do it all again.

Julia Sanders
Assistant Director of Admissions

You’ve Been on the Road Too Long When…

As an admissions staff, we criss-crossed the country this fall, meeting with students while visiting over 1,000 high schools. For many of us, visiting with students in their hometowns is a highlight of this job but it can be exhausting. Here’s how you know you’ve been on the road too long:

-Running low on toiletries, you go MacGyver with office supplies. Paper clips to hold your hair back? More than once.

-Your steady diet of comfort food – grilled cheese, French onion soup, buffalo tenders , etc. – has literally SPLIT your favorite business casual slacks.

-You meet someone in line at the Panera and your first question is “So what are you thinking about studying?”

-Your relationship with your GPS (Jennifer) has grown so rocky that you start giving her time-outs in the glove compartment.

It’s a good thing we’re home…

Julia Sanders
Assistant Director of Admissions

Back to School, Back to the Blog

The end of August marks a particularly busy time at Holy Cross.  The fresh-faced students are back and the quiet of the summer is behind us.   We’re interviewing like crazy, making the final adjustments to our travel schedules, and preparing to get on the road to meet all of you at your high schools and at college fairs.

Now is also the time we begin posting to the admissions blog with more frequency…so get excited! Our blog is intended to make the college admissions process a bit more transparent, and perhaps a bit more fun for all of you.  Please feel free to navigate our blog by perusing through the archives on our blog’s main page.  By doing so, you can learn about interviewing, essay-writing, submitting your test scores, and a wide array of other admissions specific advice directly from the mouths of the admissions officers that evaluate your applications.

If there is something specific you’d like to hear more about, please feel free to get in touch with me at    Your feedback is helpful!

We look forward to seeing you this fall.

Julia Sanders
Assistant  Director of Admissions

Second-Reading Applications

JuliaSandersSurrounding me:   Piles of files, post-it notes, mechanical pencils, and caffeinated beverages.

What I’m doing:  Double-checking the “first reads” Drew Carter did of your applications.

Provoking anxiety:  All that’s left to do.

Quashing anxiety:  This is the final push.  Committee starts Monday.

Why the HC admissions officers second – read:  To make sure our colleagues didn’t miss that AP course, that service trip to Malawi, or the note you left when you passed through the admissions office on the way back to New York.  Also, because you work really hard, and we want to make sure we capture the most brilliant snapshot of you we possibly can before heading into committee.

What would make it just a tad easier on us?  Reminding your guidance counselors to  send us your mid-year (or first trimester – if that’s all that’s available) grades, if they haven’t already.

Thanks for all your hard work.

Files left to go….


Julia Sanders
Admissions Counselor

Worcester: An Ideal College Town

It’s not Boston, and it’s not New York, but I believe Worcester to be the perfect place to attend college, especially when combined with the constant stream of activities that Holy Cross provides its students.    Here are just a few reasons why ‘the Woo’ is an ideal place to spend four years:

  1. 1.Because it’s NOT Boston or New York.   Worcester provides you with TONS of options ranging from street festivals and fabulous restaurants, to concert venues and hiking trails , without the constant distraction.  College is, in fact, a place to get some studying done, and our gorgeous hilltop location provides you with the opportunity to do just that.  Check out this view of campus!
  2. air_entire_campus_3

  3. Service:   in the Jesuit tradition.   Worcester is an incredibly diverse city – home to both great wealth, and a fair amount of poverty.  The original intention of the Jesuits was to build institutions in cities that could benefit from the students’ presence there.  So live out the Jesuit mission, and complement your liberal arts education with a taste of the real world.
  4. Experience is the most important thing on your resume, so maximize your liberal arts education with an internship.  Holy Cross alums are scattered all throughout the city, just waiting to give a Crusader a shot at greatness (Worcester area internships are offered at banks, law firms, hospitals, newspapers, radio stations,  magazines, social service agencies, sports teams, and a variety of other professional institutions.) If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, take a look at a sample of our summer internship offerings
  5. Multiply your course offerings by twelve. When you come to Holy Cross,  you are allowed to take classes (one per semester) at any school that is part of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, including Tufts Veterinary, UMass Medical, Clark University, and WPI.

Want more? Call the Admissions Office, I’d be happy to share.

Julia Sanders
Admissions Counselor

Yet Another Benefit of Interviewing

JuliaSanders I just finished up my first interview of the new season.   I must admit, prior to the interview, the rainy day was making me feel a little “blah.”   But there’s just something about a nice conversation with someone that makes me smile.   She didn’t have to do any magic tricks or back flips, or cure cancer, or bring me cookies (my favorite is chocolate chip with walnuts). (And no, you are not supposed to bring me cookies). (Unless you reeeeallly want to).  All she had to do was show up, and have a conversation.  She told me about her interests in service, law, and art;  we talked about the new Star Trek movie;  and we reminisced about how beautiful western Massachusetts can be when there aren’t so many tourists around.

She did a great job, and she made my day just a little brighter.

So what should you take away from this?  That in addition to helping you get into college, and giving you insider information on whichever colleges you’re considering,    interviewing makes admissions folks smile, and that never hurts.

Julia Sanders
Admissions Counselor

On-campus interviews are available now through December. To arrange an on-campus interview, please call the Admissions Office at 1-800-442-2421.  For more information, please see our Web site.