College of the Holy Cross

College of the Holy Cross appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Rankings: Best Small Colleges

Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges with the Best Return on Investment

30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts for 2018

30 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the Northeast

The College of the Holy Cross was established in 1843 on Mount Saint James by Bishop Benedict Joseph Fenwick. Named after Fenwick's Cathedral, Holy Cross initially served an inaugural class of six students. By 1849, Holy Cross made history by graduating James Augustine Healy, the nation's first African American bishop. The College of Holy Cross remains affiliated with the Society of Jesus as a private, co-educational Catholic and Jesuit liberal arts institution. Endowed for $750 million, Holy Cross educates around 2,800 students each year. Holy Cross occupies a 174-acre suburban campus in Worcester, Massachusetts, just 40 miles west of Boston as New England's oldest Catholic college.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, Holy Cross is the 32nd best national liberal arts college and 20th top school for military veterans. Given an A+ financial grade, Holy Cross is ranked the 42nd best private university with America's 52nd best grateful grads by Forbes. The Princeton Review included Holy Cross among the "Colleges That Pay You Back." Washington Monthly lauded the College of the Holy Cross as the 44th most affordable elite college nationwide. PayScale recognized Holy Cross for the country's 152nd highest 20-year ROI at $475,000. The Chronicle of Higher Education distinguished Holy Cross for the United States' third highest four-year graduation rate at 90.3 percent.

College of the Holy Cross Accreditation Details

For the maximum 10 years, the College of the Holy Cross was reaffirmed by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in 2010. This regional accrediting agency is approved by the U.S. Department of Education for rigorous review processes. Holy Cross is one of 28 colleges belonging to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). In particular, the Department of Theatre has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) since 1997.

College of the Holy Cross Application Requirements

As a highly selective school, the College of the Holy Cross accepts only 43 percent of its applicants. Freshmen can increase their chances by showcasing well-rounded academics, extra-curriculars, and special achievements. First-year candidates must be graduating or have graduated from a licensed secondary school. Taking four years of classes in English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language is preferred. Added rigor with AP, Honors, and IB courses is desirable. Admitted freshmen have an average high school GPA of 3.82. Although Holy Cross is test-optional, students achieve an average SAT score of 1959 and ACT score of 29. Arts programs, including Theatre, will also require a portfolio review.

Transferring to the College of the Holy Cross after at least two full-time semesters at another regionally accredited institution is possible. Incoming second-year and third-year transfers undergo competitive admissions review, so presenting a minimum 2.75 GPA is encouraged. Credits graded "C" or higher can transfer with photocopied course catalog descriptions. Students must submit a Registrar Report displaying their good disciplinary standing. International students studying on visa must score at least 100 on the TOEFL iBT or 7 on the IELTS exams. Applicants seeking entry into the Honors College must hold at least sophomore standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.

The College of the Holy Cross has an Early Decision deadlines on December 15th and Regular Decision deadline on January 15th. Financial aid forms must be submitted by February 1st. Interested students should submit the following to the Admissions Office before these dates:

• Electronic Common Application form
• Check or money order for $60 fee
• Early Decision Agreement form (if applicable)
• Final, official academic transcripts
• At least two instructor evaluations
• Standardized test scores via code 3282 (optional)
• Certification of finances or bank letter
• Proof of English proficiency (non-native speakers only)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates at Holy Cross must afford $24,148 per semester or $48,295 each year for tuition. Added annual expenses include the $330 health service fee, $315 activity fee, and $1,634 health insurance coverage (unless waived). Residential students are charged an estimated $7,135 and $6,090 for room and board respectively each year. Apartments are more expensive at $8,625 yearly. Total annual cost of attendance at the College of the Holy Cross is $62,265 (on-campus) and $48,940 (off-campus). Part-time students can pay $1,409 per credit or $4,227 for each three-credit course.

The NCES reports that 69 percent of beginning, full-time Holy Cross students receive tuition assistance. Financial packages are worth an average of $34,876. Learners can borrow a four-year maximum of $27,000 in Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. Financially needy students could obtain the Pell Grant or Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. In-state residents may apply for the MASS Grant, GEAR UP Scholarship, Foster Child Grant, or Massachusetts Public Service Grant. Federally subsidized employment provides $1,800 each year for campus jobs. Families could obtain Parent PLUS loans or the MEFA Undergraduate loan. Military benefits are granted through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Institutional awards like the Ellis Scholarship, Brooks Scholarship, Bean Scholarship, and Navy ROTC Scholarship are abundant.

Degrees Available at Holy Cross

The College of the Holy Cross is a liberal arts gem offering undergraduates 31 majors in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and arts. Five unique concentrations are also available from Latino studies to biological psychology. Freshmen participate in Fall Gateways to smoothly transition into collegiate academics. The student-faculty ratio of 10:1 means that nearly 70 percent of classes have under 20 enrollees. Experiential learning is a Holy Cross cornerstone with unique opportunities like the Summer Research Consortium and Independent Cultural Immersion Project. One noteworthy degree is the:

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

Named among Onstage's "10 Most Underrated Theatre Colleges in New England," Holy Cross offers a NAST-accredited Bachelor of Arts in Theatre program. Undergraduates are trained to interpret dramatic texts for the artistic development of entertaining theatrical acts. The 120-credit program offers an Acting or Design track for specialization. Courses include theatrical history, modern drama, voice acting, dance, vocal performance, scene design, audition techniques, and Shakespeare. Electives range from gay theatre to ballet and directing. B.A. majors benefit from joining major productions in Holy Cross' 250-seat Fenwick Theatre. Three plays, two Balinese dance concerts, and one fully produced musical are staged annually. The upcoming season will feature Middletown, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Royal Family.

Students at the College of the Holy Cross could also pursue unique majors like Asian studies, religion, environmental science, classics, world literature studies, and anthropology.