Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Mary Jo Coughlin

Mary Jo Coughlin

Year: 2013

Hometown: Brookfield, Massachusetts

Major(s): Undeclared (leaning towards Psychology)

Why I love Holy Cross:  I love Holy Cross because of its excellent academic reputation as a small liberal arts college with access to challenging classes and individual attention from professors.  Outside of academics, I have made amazing friendships that I know will be long lasting. Holy Cross also offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities, a favorite of which is volunteering at the Nativity School,  a Jesuit middle school for boys in Worcester.  Having recently completed my freshman year,  Holy Cross has met my every expectation.

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

Jim’s Admissions Advice

jrichardson_2August has arrived, and with it, for many of us, has come the feeling that the end is near.  The end of summer … the end of sleeping late, beach days and pool time … indeed, its back to school!  You might find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone … its back to school for us as well.  As my colleague Amanda wrote not long ago, for us here in Admissions, we’ve been planning our schedules and getting ready to have the rubber meet the road in just a few short weeks.  We’ll be coming to your schools and college fairs before you know it; for many of us, in less than a month!  For some of you reading this in Arizona and Florida, you’re already back; but for many others, you still have a few days or weeks to enjoy!  How should you be spending that time, you ask?  Why, visiting colleges of course … including, I should add, spending some time here at Holy Cross!
Visiting college campuses on your summer break is one of the best investments of your time and resources you can make.  Visiting now, while it has its pros and cons, will be something you will surely appreciate later.  It will make your decision regarding where to apply, and possibly where to enroll should you be admitted, much easier later.  Here at Holy Cross we offer tours of the campus four times each day (M-F, 10AM, 12, 2 and 3PM), and information sessions twice each day (M-F, 11:15AM, and 1:15PM).  Interviewing is another critically important aspect of your summer or fall visit.  We put a lot of stock in personal interviews because, while optional, they provide us a chance to get to know you in a way we wouldn’t have at any other time in the process.  And for you, its a chance to personalize your application and really bring it to life!  If you’re serious about your Holy Cross application and would like to schedule an interview, simply call the office, we would enjoy taking the time to get to know you.
The last thing I would recommend doing before you head back to school is to begin your essay.  If you haven’t already done so, take a look at the essay questions on the application ( and begin drafting your response.  Considering it is the only piece of writing we will have in your application (we don’t ask for graded papers, other writing samples, or require any supplements), its very important that its a good piece of quality writing.  A few (seemingly obvious) tips:

* answer the question.  Answer the question in a complete, yet concise, clear, and direct way. 

*make sure its your own work, and original.  “Recycled” history papers from last year … while they may meet the criteria of ‘topic of your choice’, are a no-no. 

*Proofread – – Proofread – – Proofread.  It speaks for itself.  Essays don’t have to be novels (nor should they be!), but they shouldn’t be two sentences either.  Spend a lot of time on this; its the only piece of writing we will have from you, so please give it the time it deserves.  Doing it now will make your life a lot easier later, I assure you.
Happy summer!  We hope you enjoy what remains of it, we hope to see you here on campus or at your school soon, and we look forward to reading your application!  Good luck!
James T. Richardson
Associate Director of Admission

Summer: A Great Time to Visit Holy Cross

ann McDermottIt’s August and it seems that summer has finally arrived on Mt St. James! The upside to all the rain we have had:  a very green campus!  While I admit to being a bit biased, I know that our visitors will agree that the campus looks amazing. If you haven’t visited yet, or if you would like to return, we have tour guides eager to show you around, and an enthusiastic staff ready to answer your questions. So stop by and say hello.
Ann McDermott
Director of Admissions

Planning our Admissions Travel

amandaSo it’s July and while you’re (we hope) sitting by the pool enjoying your summer break, we’re here in the office thinking about your college applications.  Yes, we’re already planning for next year.  Over the past few weeks we have begun planning our fall travel schedules.  We put a lot of thought into what schools we will be visiting.  We consider where we have visited in past years, where we receive applications from, and also where we would like to build awareness about Holy Cross.  After much deliberating, scheduling and rescheduling,  each counselor will have approximately a seven week itinerary of high schools, community based agencies and college fairs to attend spanning from September to November.  We can’t always visit every school or attend every event we would like but we do our best to fit everything in.  In August,  our schedules will be posted on the web page, so be sure to check that out to see when we’ll be in your area.  We’ll see you on the road this fall!

Amanda Juriansz
Assistant Director of Community Outreach

July Advisory Days

suzanneEver wish someone from an admissions office would tell you exactly how to go about writing your college essay? Curious about the process of interviewing at a college or university?

 Here at Holy Cross, we want to help make these parts of the college process just a bit easier by answering your questions. This summer, join our staff on campus for our July Advisory Days. These three hour sessions will take you on a guided tour of campus, includes a traditional information session and gives you helpful tips on writing your college essay and preparing for a college interview.


Visit our Web site for more detailed information on this informative opportunity.


Suzanne R. Timmons
Assistant Director of Admissions

Try to relax this summer!

alyssa-tI just got off the phone with my seventeen year old cousin who is inevitably freaking out. If you are a rising high school senior, like he is, you have a lot to think about. Face it, next year at this time you will have graduated from your respective high school and most likely will be attending college summer orientation. This upcoming year has a lot in store for you as you begin to finalize your college list, visit campuses, interview, write your essays, and send out numerous applications. You have a lot of goals that need to be set and prioritizing that has to be done. Trust me, if you work hard, everything will get done.

As I spoke to my cousin though I realized that he was becoming so stressed about his senior year that he was not going to enjoy his summer. I had to help him take a step back to realize that he could become organized for the busy autumn ahead while still enjoying these summer months he has off.
Here are some of the ideas we discussed:

  • Plan a road trip with your friends to visit schools you are interested in.
  • Get your family involved. Plan a vacation that involves looking at some distant colleges while you are away. Even plan to visit those long lost relatives that live in states where colleges of interest might be.
  • Make a day of it! Come to Worcester in July for a great lunch on Shrewsbury Street and then check out our July Advisory Days.
  • On a rainy afternoon have a “mock interview” with a friend or family member.
  • Go to a café or diner with your friends, get lots of food, and talk about each other. Recalling great memories or stories from the past could lead to valuable material for that college essay.

I hope you can take advantage of one or all of these ideas listed and of course, find some excitement in the busy months ahead.

Alyssa Trometter
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