Oops, I Missed the Interview Opportunity

With all that’s going on in your senior year and the stress of college applications, you might not have noticed that Holy Cross offered an opportunity for a personal interview (or you may have  called and discovered that you missed the deadline!)

Don’t fret too much! If for some reason you weren’t able to interview at Holy Cross, we’d still like for you to take the opportunity to tell us a little more about yourself. What might we have learned in an interview?  What do you love about Holy Cross?  Recently won an award, became captain of the basketball team, or completed a spectacular service project? We want to hear about it. Write us an e-mail and share everything you would have talked about in an interview. Reconnect with an Admissions Counselor you met on the road or at an information session. When we sit down and open up a file, a lot of the information we have comes from other people (teachers, guidance counselors, etc.) This process is about you and we want to hear your voice as much as possible.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nicole Zervos ‘09
Assistant Director of Admissions

Summer Visit Opportunities

Summer is an interesting time for us here in Admissions. With the stress of application reading and the selection process behind us,  summer is a great opportunity for admissions officers to plan travel, take some vacation days, and admire the gorgeous  trees and flowers blooming all over campus.

But we haven’t forgotten about you, high school juniors, who are just starting your college search. Once you’ve had some time to relax, think about making some college visits.

Summer is an excellent opportunity to visit Holy Cross. Come for a tour and information session.  You’ll hear directly from students as they guide you around campus and from an Admissions Counselor about the college process. If you happen to be here in the next few weeks you might want to take advantage of our July Advisory Days, where you’ll receive insider tips on interviewing and writing your college essay. It might be nice to get all of this done before your hectic senior year starts up (where you’ll likely be juggling AP classes, soccer practice, band rehearsal, community service, etc.). We will be here and looking forward to your visit!

Nicole Zervos ’09

Assistant Director of Admissions

What’s New at Holy Cross?

One of the most common questions we get asked on the road while traveling as Admissions Counselors is “What’s new at Holy Cross?” This year, there have been a few changes to the campus. For starters, the newest dormitory on campus, Figge Hall, is officially open! The townhouse style residence hall is the new home to many current Holy Cross seniors.  Each apartment accommodates four students with two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen area and common space. Senior year and a brand new apartment? What more could you ask for?

The new Hogan Courtyard provides students with a bigger open green space on campus. Several tables and chairs have been added around the courtyard and as classes have begun, I’ve noticed more students congregating in the area to grab a bite to eat with friends or to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather while studying!

Cool Beans 2, a great place to get coffee and snacks, has been transformed into a “Starbucks-like” coffee shop. Located right in one of our main academic buildings, Stein Hall, Cool Beans 2 will be a great place to chat with a professor, meet up with friends, or just re-charge before that grueling mid-term exam!

If you haven’t been to campus, fall is a great time to visit. Check out our schedule (http://admissions.holycross.edu/visiting/tours-information-sessions) to come for a tour of campus. If you have already been, come back to check out what’s new at Holy Cross!

Nicole Zervos ‘09

Assistant Director of Admissions

I’m About to Apply – What Else Can I Do?

Fall is a time that flies by for Admissions Counselors.  Personally, I can’t believe that it’s already November. In the Admissions Office, we’re getting ready to start reading applications, especially those who have applied for Early Decision (deadline December 15th). As you get ready to hit the “submit” button on the Common Application, I wanted to share a few tips to help make your application the best that it can be:

If you haven’t already, schedule an interview .  Interviews are not required, but are highly recommended as part of our application process. They’re painless, we promise! We just want to have a conversation with you and learn about all the wonderful things you’ve accomplished in high school.

Keep up those senior grades! We know how easy it is to fall prey to “senioritis,” but remember that continuing to do well in senior year is important to us.

Proofread that essay. Make sure to use both proofreaders (Mom, Dad, siblings, friends, etc.),  and proofreaders with perspective (English teachers, Guidance Counselors).

• Feel free to send us any supplemental materials- artwork, music, writing samples, resumes, etc. We like to know about all of your talents, both in and out of the classroom.

Not ready to submit an application to Holy Cross just yet? Don’t worry. There is still time to learn all about HC and our admissions process. Join us at our Open House this Sunday,  November 14th.

Nicole Zervos ‘09

Admissions Counselor

Fall Day Visits Have Begun!

What’s the best way to see if a potential college is the right place for you? Come visit! Even if you’ve already taken a campus tour of Holy Cross, you might want to think about signing up for a Full Day Visit. High school seniors have the opportunity to come to campus and essentially live the life of a Holy Cross student for a day. We will do our best to match you with a student who will share similar academic or extracurricular interests. You’ll attend class, eat lunch in the dining hall, meet professors, and possibly attend club meetings.

Why should you come to Holy Cross for a Day Visit?  Spending some quality time on campus, both in and out of the classroom, can be a real eye-opener. You’ll have a better sense of whether you can potentially see yourself as a future Crusader. Additionally, by making the commitment to spend a whole day here, you’re letting us in Admissions know that you’re serious about applying to Holy Cross.

To sign up for a Day Visit, please visit our registration page. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

Nicole Zervos ‘09

Admissions Counselor

The College Fair: Where Do I Start?

NicoleZervos.BLOG2This past week, I’ve been doing a few college fairs at high schools and at national events. College fairs are a good way to start seeing what types of colleges are out there, but they can also be extremely overwhelming. Students often come up to our table and not know what to do or say. I thought I’d share a few pointers to get you started:



  • Know that we’re here to talk to you. Our job as Admissions Counselors is to talk to students about our institutions. Don’t be afraid to approach us. We’re all friendly people and we want to tell you why our college is the place for you.


  • It’s OK if you don’t know anything about the school. One of my favorite parts of college fairs is talking to students who know nothing about Holy Cross. Often, by the time we’re through talking, they’re signing up for the mailing list and excited to come for a campus tour.


  • Go beyond asking about the numbers. While it’s ok to ask about average GPA or test scores, that type of information is easily accessible on the internet or in a school’s literature. Try to make your questions as specific as possible. Ask what makes an application successful or find out what campus life is like, how well the professors interact with students, if internships are offered, etc.  


  • Filling out the card does matter. A lot of students who are already on our mailing list ask if they need to fill out an inquiry card. While this is not the case at all schools, we do keep track of the type of contact you’ve made with Holy Cross. We want to give you credit for putting in the effort to talk to us at a fair. Printing up pre-made labels is a quick way to avoid writer’s cramp at college fairs.


If you see me at a college fair this spring or next fall, don’t be afraid to stop by and say hi! Ask me a question and I’ll be more than happy to answer.


Nicole Zervos ’09

Admissions Counselor

Newest Admissions Member Reflects on Committee Process

NicoleZervos.BLOG2About five weeks ago, the twelve members of the Holy Cross admissions staff convened to start our “committee” process. As a first year Admissions Counselor, I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous. After weeks of reading applications, highlighting students’ academic success and getting to know them through their essays and extracurricular accomplishments, I knew the decision making process would be no easy feat.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. It’s the last day of committee and we’re making those final few decisions. I have to say, it’s been a lot harder than I ever could have imagined. As a first-timer in committee this year, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite aspects of committee to help you understand how we go about making our decisions:

  • I love the amount of time we spend discussing each and every applicant. Discussion is crucial in our committee room. I could be feeling one way one minute, and then a someone will make a comment that may help me see a completely different side of the applicant that I might not have seen before.
  • It truly is a democratic process. We take a vote on every application and majority wins. Often, there’s not a clear winner. So we vote again. And sometimes even a third vote is required! It can be tedious, but that’s the beauty of the committee process: everyone gets a fair shot.
  • We take a very holistic approach. Sometimes it feels like all we’re seeing is numbers.  GPA’s.  Class ranks. Numbers of honors and AP/ IB courses. It can be hard to distinguish between them, but then someone reads a nice quote from an essay or an interview write up and it makes all the difference in the world.

Nicole Zervos ’09
Admissions Counselor

Read the Mission Statement

NicoleZervos.BLOG2Though a certain amount of relief comes with finally getting all those applications in,  I know some of you are probably still a little stressed. You might be thinking: Am I applying to the right schools? Is this place really where I want to spend the next four years of my life? When I was a senior in high school, my guidance counselor recommended that we read the mission statement of the colleges we were considering. Looking back, I wish I had taken her advice. I spent more time looking at guidebooks and placed more importance on statistics like average GPA or SAT scores than the actual mission of the college. While these things are important to consider, the mission statement really sets the tone for your entire college experience.

 As a recent graduate and the newest Admissions Counselor at Holy Cross, one of the questions I get asked frequently is why I chose to attend Holy Cross. My answer to this question can be found in our mission statement. While there are many aspects of Holy Cross that I love, the community is something that I feel sets Holy Cross apart. The wonderfully compassionate people and the belief that we are “men and women for others” is something that is not just said, but is truly taken to heart. Take a look at a few quotes from our mission statement:

 “Informed by the presence of diverse interpretations of the human experience, Holy Cross seeks to build a community marked by freedom, mutual respect, and civility.”

 “The College is dedicated to forming a community which supports the intellectual growth of all its members while offering them opportunities for spiritual and moral development.”

I urge you to read the entire mission statement  to further understand the goals and objectives of Holy Cross.  Because I did not consider the fundamental mission of each college I was applying to, I ended up originally choosing a school that was not a right “fit” for me. While I did end up transferring to Holy Cross and finding a home here, I think that if I had taken the time to read the mission statement, I would have been better able to assess what kind of school was right for me. So, while you are wrapping up the final touches on your applications, take a minute and look over the mission statements of each school. Make sure that your goals and expectations are in line with the college of your choice. It will make all the difference in the world.


Nicole Zervos ’09

Admissions Counselor

What Can I do with a Liberal Arts Degree?

NicoleZervos.BLOG2With the economy the way it is right now, you might be concerned about your future. Even though you’re just starting the process of applying to college, you can’t help but think, “Where will I be in four years?” or “What will I be able to do with a liberal arts degree?” As an undergraduate Sociology major, I have to admit, I (as well as my parents) often had the same fears. So what does Holy Cross offer to students to help them make the most of their liberal arts experience? Take a look at the Summer Internship Program.  As a rising junior or senior, you have the opportunity to intern at corporations, non-profits, hospitals, banks, law firms, advertising companies, etc. all over the country. Summer internships are paid; they are often set up by alumni or parents and are frequently designated specifically for Holy Cross students. They are excellent places to connect the writing, analytical, and communication skills that you’ll learn in your liberal arts courses to the “real world.” I did my summer internship at AICUM (Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts), an organization that works with private colleges in the state of Massachusetts. I was a research and policy intern; throughout the course of 3 months, I did research on the use and value of the SAT in the Admissions process and ended up writing a 50 page report. It was partly through this internship that I became interested in working in higher education, and ultimately ended up as an Admissions Counselor.

Don’t see an internship that appeals to you? Not to worry, the Career Planning Office would be more than happy to help you in your search for an internship, summer job, or even career after graduation. They will work with you to help perfect your resume and cover letter. There are also many alumni career panels throughout the year, where alumni come back to Holy Cross to talk about their careers and how they got from Holy Cross to where they are now.  Check out our alumni success stories.

The liberal arts education you receive at Holy Cross won’t prepare you for any one specific career; what it will do is provide you with the foundation and skills you will need to be successful in any field you should choose to pursue.

Nicole Zervos ’09

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!