Tips for Applicants

The admission process is our chance to get to know you. We want to know your background, your accomplishments and your future plans. Here are a few suggestions to guide you as you navigate your choices in high school and as you get ready to apply to Holy Cross.

Tips for Applicants


Standardized Testing
Standardized Testing FAQs

Our highly personalized evaluation process focuses on your performance and drive in the classroom.

The role of standardized testing in the Holy Cross admissions process was discussed and debated for many years leading up to our decision to drop the requirement, beginning with the class that entered in the fall of 2006. To us, your overall academic experience (as demonstrated through your transcript) is more powerful than a single test or combination of tests. Our experience shows that the rigor of your program and your overall academic performance in the classroom are what best illustrate your commitment, motivation and willingness to take on challenges, and therefore how well you would fit into the challenging academic community at Holy Cross.

No. There will be no negative impact on your application.

You may feel that your score offers a more complete picture of your academic achievements and potential.

We will superscore the SAT and ACT, taking the highest score of each section from multiple exams.

We believe our policy has several advantages. We are concerned about the inherent racial and socioeconomic bias in standardized testing, and we believe that our test-optional policy addresses this issue. 

Additionally, the policy communicates to students, teachers and parents how Holy Cross focuses on the four-year academic program and outside-the-classroom interests in our admission decisions — instead of on a single test score.

 Students who do not attend an English-speaking high school, and who are not native English speakers, must submit one of the following exams:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TOEFL Special Home Edition

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and IELTS Indicator

  • DET (Duolingo English Test)

More Than Your GPA

  • In addition to your grades, we consider your goals, talents, accomplishments and activities in both high school and the community.  Hear from an admission counselor who will explain how to showcase your resume and experiences.
  • Use your application essay to introduce yourself and let us know what makes you you.  Watch as two admission counselors explain how to choose the right essay topic for you.
  • One of the important ways we get to know you is through a one-on-one interview. While they are not required, we strongly recommend them for rising or current high school seniors only.  Here are 3 tips to nail your admissions interview.
  • We’re glad to review any supplementary materials you feel are important to conveying a full picture of who you are, such as artwork, recorded performances, original writing and additional recommendations.

Ask the Experts

Do you have questions about the application process? Hear from the experts! Watch our webinar miniseries and hear experts from various institutions answer your biggest application questions.

Tips for applicants
Application Assistance Programming

Our specialized webinars give high school students a boost in navigating the college admission process.

For a complete archive of all past webinars, please visit our Webinars page.