Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…or so they say. With the busy holiday season quickly approaching, we all have a lot on our minds – what present to buy Dad, what to wear to that holiday party next weekend, where to spend New Year’s Eve…w and the list goes on. While most of us are stressing about these menial details, all of you high school seniors are most likely stressing about the ever-looming college application deadlines. I won’t preach to you about the importance of meeting said deadlines, but instead offer a friendly reminder of our upcoming deadlines:

December 15th – Deadline for EARLY DECISION applications

December 29th – Deadline for ON-CAMPUS INTERVIEWS (Regular Decision applicants)

January 15th – Deadline for REGULAR DECISION applications

February 1st – Deadline for FINANCIAL AID applications

Hopefully these deadlines will allow you to plan ahead and enjoy this busy time of the year. Have a wonderful holiday season everyone!

Lauren D. Thornton

Assistant Director of Admissions

Five Reasons You Should Attend This Sunday’s Open House

Just in case  wanting to meet all of us wonderful admissions counselors was not enough reason to attend, here are five reasons why you should consider attending this Sunday’s Open House:

1. You get to experience many aspects of campus life all in one single day (including all of our famous hills)!

2. You will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from academic departments, athletics, and extracurricular organizations to ask all of your burning questions.

3. You can learn more about Holy Cross from faculty, students and administrators in a panel setting.

4. You can hear more about both the admissions and financial aid processes from both the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices.

5. You get to have lunch on campus with current students and admissions officers, as well as take a tour of our beautiful campus!

You can register, or walk in! I hope to see all of you this weekend!

Lauren Thornton

Assistant Director of Admissions

On the Road Again…

When I was growing up, I was always the child who was overly excited for the summer to come to an end and the school year to begin again. The night before my first day, you could always find me choosing my outfit carefully, laying it out on my whicker rocking chair and making sure that every pencil, pen, notebook and binder were in their precise place in my blue L.L. Bean backpack. Although those days are long gone, every September, I still become a bit nostalgic for those magical first days of school.

Even though I no longer have those first days of school to look forward to, I am fortunate enough to visit high school students that do. Although I no longer have to make sure I am at the bus stop on time, I do have to make sure I arrive at my high school visit according to schedule. Before my first days of travel season, I still go through the same routine of choosing my outfits carefully (there is only so much space in my luggage), laying out all the things I need (a good book, my iPod, and of course my GPS to navigate my way through unknown territory), and making sure that every Holy Cross pen, inquiry card, banner and brochure is in its precise place in my black travel bag.  As I go through this yearly routine, I cannot help to feel the same excitement as I did back then at the upcoming days, particularly because I am looking forward to meeting all of you.

Please feel free to visit our website to learn more about Holy Cross visiting your high school this fall.

Lauren Thornton

Assistant Director of Admissions

Tours Pick Up Again June 1st, But Feel Free to Visit!

LaurenThornton.BLOG2The flowers have begun to come into full bloom and the trees are finally full of green leaves again. Needless to say,  it is an absolutely beautiful day at Holy Cross.  Unfortunately, our students have just finished their spring semester classes and are eagerly (or begrudgingly) spending these gorgeous days locked away in the library preparing for their final exams.  Although our campus tours for the spring semester have officially come to an end, it does not mean that you as a prospective student cannot enjoy our campus during this beautiful month.  If you have some free time and want to visit during the month of May, you certainly may do so.  Feel free to stop by our office, fill out a walk-in visitor form and grab a map of campus to explore on your own.  We are more than happy to direct you and point out some of the highlights of campus to you and your family.

If you would like an official, student-lead tour of campus this summer, our summer tours will begin June 1st.  Please check our website for specific details about visiting this summer.


Lauren D. Thornton
Admissions Counselor

When Will I Receive My Admissions Decision?

LaurenThornton.BLOG2It is that time of year again, the time where high school seniors sit in front of their mailboxes anxiously awaiting their admissions decisions. Do not fret, the wait is almost over!  As of the end of last week, the admissions decision letters were boxed up and sent to our mail house in order to be sent to all of you. Here is a quick glimpse at us sending out our decisions to all of you. Enjoy!










Lauren D. Thornton
Admissions Counselor

Open House Feedback

LaurenThornton.BLOG2In the midst of travel season, I awoke with a start at 2:00 AM.  A bright red light was flashing in my room and an alarm was blaring in the most annoying way possible.  Suddenly, I realized that it was the fire alarm going off and quickly grabbed some shoes, my rental car’s keys and evacuated my hotel room.  There was indeed a fire in my hotel during the early hours of that October morning and I spent the better part of my coveted sleeping time sitting in one of the hotel’s many ballrooms.  During those groggy three hours between two o’clock and five o’clock in the morning, I met two other women who just happened to be college admissions counselors as well.  After comparing notes from “the road” and discussing our various travel territories and office responsibilities, I walked back to my now second hotel room (water damage soaked my first) with some fresh ideas about how to improve how I coordinate my respective programs here at Holy Cross.  Needless to say, those three hours were not spent in vain and I was fortunate to come away with a new set of goals for doing my job better than ever before.

We in the Office of Admissions here at Holy Cross are always trying to improve what we do for our prospective students.  Thus, we wholeheartedly appreciate your feedback after attending the numerous events that we host both on- and off-campus.  If you were able to attend either of our Fall Open Houses during these past couple of weeks, please take a moment to fill out this survey.  By taking a small amount of time out of your day to provide us with this invaluable feedback, we can ensure that our admissions programs will be new and improved for future groups of prospective students.  Until that night in that hotel ballroom, I did not realize what you could learn and how I could change what I do in only a matter of minutes.

Lauren Thornton

Admissions Counselor

Fall Open House

LaurenThornton.BLOG2It’s that time of year again; Linden Lane is changing colors, the purple sweatshirts are starting to appear…and the Admissions Office is hosting its first Fall Open House of the year!  Attending an Open House at Holy Cross is different from your typical campus visit.  Not only will you have the opportunity to take a tour of our beautiful campus, but you will also be able to explore different areas of academic and athletic interest during our Browsing Session in an entirely informal setting.  After climbing all of the stairs here on Mount St. James, you can attend one of our many panel presentations on such aspects of Holy Cross such as: liberal arts, student life or one of our pre-professional programs.  Finally, you can enjoy a lunch where you can speak with current Holy Cross students, as well as Admissions staff members. What better way to spend a beautiful fall Sunday than at Holy Cross?

See more information about our Fall Open Houses and to register.

Lauren D. Thornton
Admissions Counselor

It’s time for summer tours!

lauren-tSummertime is finally here!
While many of you are probably ecstatic that your final exams are wrapping up and you can finally relax, lie in the sun and enjoy your summer vacation, we here in the Admissions Office are conducting our summer tours.  With the official beginning of summer and the sun finally (barely!) gracing us with its presence, comes our full schedule of summer tours.  Making the visit to campus and going on one of our summer tours is a great way to get to know more about Holy Cross. Summer tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m.  We do not require pre-registration which makes popping in for a tour easy especially if you happen to be driving on I-290, heading on your family’s summer vacation!  If the ease of visiting Holy Cross this summer and your sheer curiosity about our campus is not enough to convince you, here are our top five reasons for visiting:

  1. See firsthand what is unique and special about Holy Cross.
  2. Admire our 174 acre hillside campus which in Princeton Review’s 2009 college rankings was placed in the top ten for “Most Beautiful College Campuses” (and increase your stamina by climbing our plethora of stairs).
  3. Feel the strong sense of community and discover more about our Jesuit traditions.
  4. Learn why studying liberal arts prepares you for all aspects of life.
  5. Hear from our current students about their experiences while on Mount St. James (and why they bleed purple).

Please see our Web site for  more information on campus tours.
Hope to see YOU on campus this summer!

Lauren D. Thornton
Admissions Counselor

“Why I love Holy Cross”

lauren-tWe know you have a big decision to make.  Over the next few weeks, members of the Holy Cross community will share their thoughts on what makes Holy Cross so special.

As a newcomer to the Holy Cross community, I am often asked “Why Holy Cross?” The thing I love the most about Holy Cross is quite simple:  We have motivated, interesting students.

From my interactions with various students on campus, I have come to find that our students have an amazingly wide variety of interests.  Each individual pursues their passions fiercely, whatever they may be.  I have met the Music/Premed major who is also the president of the ballroom dance team and volunteers through SPUD (Student Programs for Urban Development). I have met the Studio Art major who hosts students through Admissions Office, but also participates in one of the most spirited organizations on campus, the Purple Key Society. I have met the undeclared first year student who is part of Oxfam America, Best Buddies, plays on the Women’s Rugby team, and is a Eucharistic minister.  No matter what a student’s interest might be, they are encouraged to pursue it during their four short years here.  And although I was not a student here during my undergraduate years, I have come to love this campus and its students as if it were my very own.

Lauren D. Thornton
Admissions Counselor

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