First Year Student Information

Account Information

Step 1: Activating Your Network Account

An email with important instructions regarding your network account will be sent late May to the email account used to apply to Holy Cross. Instructions will walk you through the process activating your network and Gmail accounts.  If you cannot locate the email, check your spam folder. If unable to locate it, contact the ITS Help Desk using and another activation email will be initiated.

These accounts must be activated in order to complete the important tasks listed on the Forms and Action Due Dates listed in the First Year Student Guide.

Your new network account will provide access to campus lab computers, WiFi, and important applications such as STAR and Moodle.  Your network username and passphrase are also needed in order to create your new Gmail account passphrase. It is very important that you enroll in our Passphrase Reset Service. This service allows you to change your passphrase, reset a forgotten passphrase.

Step 2: Activating Your Gmail Account

  • Instructions for Setting up Your Gmail Account 
  • Please note, you will be required to setup 2-step verification. This must be completed within 30 days, otherwise your account will be locked. 

First Year Student FAQ

First-Year Student Guide

The First Year Guide is available at Please review this guide, there is important information regarding Holy Cross. 

Hardware Recommendations

This year the Bookstore will not be selling laptops. Students are welcome to bring any type laptop or computer to campus. We offer support on Apple Mac, Windows 10 & 11, and Chromebook laptops. WiFi is accessible across the campus, including wired LAN connections for desktops in residence halls. Each room is fitted with purple LAN port connections.  

The ITS Help Desk is available to troubleshoot any device brought to campus. We support Apple devices, while we cannot repair hardware issues, we will troubleshoot and make recommendations as needed. ITS Help Desk staff are certified for Dell and HP repairs, if required Dell and HP technicians will perform repairs at the Help Desk, providing the warranty purchased is "Onsite Support".

Here are a few recommendations when purchasing or preparing to bring a laptop to campus:

  • Minimum hardware Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD hard drive, running Windows 10 or Windows 11
  • MacOS - Macbook - M1 chip or later, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD hard drive; Apple only supports the last 3 operating system versions. We recommend version 14 Sonoma or newer
  • Chromebooks - We currently use the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434TA model on campus, these work very well

Warranty Recommendations

  • Dell and HP offer a 4 year accidental warranty. We highly recommend this type of warranty due to potential spill damage that occurs each year.
  • Mac hardware repairs can be performed by a third party company offsite. The Apple certified technicians can repair hardware that is on warranty and off-warranty. Some fees may apply. We recommend getting an extended Apple Care Plus plan for your mac, which covers limited accidental damage. For more information please see
  • If you need Dell or HP to service your computer, we can arrange for a onsite service location. 
  • Local repair vendors available for hardware support

Laptop Loaner Program

Software Recommendations

Microsoft Office for Students

Microsoft Office 2016 software is available for download through the Office 365 portal.

NOTE: First year students must login using their HC email address and network passphrase (Star) to login to the Office portal.

All other students use the following steps:

To start the process, visit the link and enter your Holy Cross email address and select Student. Using the link in the activation email titled, “Finish signing up for Office 365 Education”, fill in the information to create your account and select a password. Login to access the “Install Office 2016” download link.

Please note, your Holy Cross subscription is free while enrolled at the College. Unlike Google Docs for Education, Office 2016 and any files saved in Office 365 will be disabled upon graduation.

Campus Technology Information

Getting Assistance

  • Our phone number is 508-793-3548 - Open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. BlackBeltHelp supports our users after working hours and during holidays.
  • Remote Service is available upon request. 
  • General Email
  • Use to submit a ticket to the ITS Help Desk ticket system, send an email with a description of your issue. Please do not send any sensitive, protected information or passwords.