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First Year Applicants

Your first year away from home will be full of exciting challenges

Female student checking into welcome weekend 2019Applying for admission shouldn’t be one of them. We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to navigate the application process. If you need any help, please contact us.


First year students for fall 2021 are test-optional

Holy Cross College will grant first year admissions for fall 2021 as test-optional. Applicants that took the ACT and/or SAT are welcome to submit scores to supplement their applications, but scores will not be required for an application to be considered for review and admission to Holy Cross College. To help the Office of Admissions understand a student’s situation, a new question has been added to the Holy Cross College section of the 2021 Common Application.

For those unable to submit a standardized test score, the College will perform a more rigorous review of high school curriculum, grade point average (GPA), and class rank. No additional requirements are needed in lieu of the test score, but applicants are welcome to supplement applications with resumes and teacher recommendations. Students who do not submit scores may be invited to participate in an admissions interview. Prospective student-athletes should defer to eligibility requirements issued by the NAIA.

“We recognize that adaptations and adjustments will be needed in our academic operations in these extraordinary times while still maintaining our goal of providing a quality, contemporary liberal arts education rooted in the heart of the Holy Cross Mission of academic, social, and spiritual growth.” notes Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

Holy Cross College will review its policies for fall 2022 and beyond after the 2021 application cycle is completed. For more information contact the Holy Cross College Office of Admissions at 574.239.8400 or email [email protected].

Click here for the Common Application

There’s no fee to submit the Common Application to Holy Cross College.

The Common Application essay is required (view essay prompts here).

  • 400-500 words recommended (minimum 250 words)

Two short-answer responses are required on the writing portion of the Holy Cross College questions section.

  • 100-150 recommended (minimum 50 words)

Students are also encouraged to complete the Activities section of the Common Applications with their involvement in their school, local, and religious communities.

You will have to designate at least one school official (e.g. school counselor) to submit the Common Application School Report with transcript. The School Report often includes a letter of recommendation from a college counselor.

Common Application en Español.


Official High School Transcript

  • It is preferred that official transcripts be submitted via the Common Application School Report.
  • Alternatively, official transcripts can be sent to the Office of Admissions directly from a school administrator.
  • Updated transcripts via the Common Application Optional Report and/or Mid-Year Report are welcome.
  • A final transcript showing successful high school graduation must be submitted prior to enrollment. An offer of admission is contingent upon receipt of a final transcript and review of final grades. We prefer final transcripts be submitted via the Common Application Final Report.


Letters of Recommendation

  • You’ll have the option to designate teachers who can submit letters of recommendation on your behalf. Letters of recommendation aren’t required but can be helpful in the evaluation process.


SAT and/or ACT Scores

  • Holy Cross has a test-optional policy for first year students applying for Fall 2021 enrollment.
  • For students who have taken the ACT and/or SAT, scores can be submitted to supplement the application.
  • SAT and ACT scores reported on the high school transcript are considered official.
  • Holy Cross College will consider self-reported test scores from the Common Application or if submitted via the Holy Cross Applicant Portal.
  • Holy Cross College superscores the SAT and ACT if multiple tests are submitted. Therefore, it is recommended to send all tests you have taken.
  • How to send SAT scores (our SAT code is 1309)
  • How to send ACT scores (our ACT code is 1203)

Fall Enrollment

  • August 1: Common Application is available
  • November 1: Early Action Deadline/Rolling Admission begins
  • Late-November: Early Action decisions are released
  • February 15: Regular Decision Deadline/Rolling Admission continues
  • July 28: Common Application closes
  • May 1: Priority enrollment confirmation deadline

Spring Enrollment

  • August 1: Common Application is available
  • December 1: Application deadline
  • Mid-December: Decisions released
  • December 20: Enrollment confirmation deadline

All applications submitted on or before November 1 will be considered for Early Action admission and will receive earliest notification of admission and merit scholarship status.

Early Action applicants will be notified of admissions decision before the end of November. There are three possible decision outcomes:

  • Admitted. Students admitted in Early Action are asked to reply with an enrollment decision (deposit) on or before May 1, the national confirmation deadline. Deposits will be accepted after May 1 as space allows.
  • The admissions staff may defer the decision to Regular Action. These students are encouraged to supplement their application file with updated transcripts or resumé, letters of recommendations, etc., prior to a second review by the Committee on Admissions. All updates must be submitted by February 15. Final decisions for deferred students will be released in March.
  • Denied. Students may reapply in the next admissions cycle as first year or transfer applicants, and we encourage them to strengthen their application before doing so.

Applications submitted after November 1 will be reviewed on a rolling basis with decisions released two-to-three weeks after the application is completed. The Regular Decision application priority deadline is February 15.

Applications submitted on or before this deadline are eligible for maximum merit scholarship consideration.

There are two possible decision outcomes: admitted or not admitted. Although unlikely, it’s possible for applicants to be offered a space on the waiting list if enrollment limits are reached. Admitted students are asked to reply with an enrollment decision (deposit) on or before May 1, the national confirmation deadline. Deposits will be accepted after May 1 as space allows.

Students who are not admitted cannot reapply for admission for the same entry semester.

All First-Year applicants are encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for state (Indiana residents), federal, and institutional need-based financial assistance. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 and can be submitted before completing the Common Application.

To ensure Holy Cross College receives the FAFSA, use Federal School Code 007263. (Learn how to add a college to your FAFSA if you’ve already submitted it.) The FAFSA priority submission deadline is February 15 for financial aid notification well in advance of the May 1 confirmation enrollment deadline. More information can be found here.

There are no additional applications necessary to be considered for merit scholarships; if you qualify for one, you’ll be notified in your admissions decision packet. Select admitted students will be nominated for a Signature Scholarship. To be considered for a Signature Scholarship, the Common Application and other required documents must be submitted on or before February 15.

Holy Cross practices a holistic application review practice, meaning all parts of the application are considered when making an admissions decision, including:

Academic performance and potential

The high school transcript (rigor of curriculum, GPA, performance trends, rank in class) helps us determine if you’re prepared to tackle the rigors of the Holy Cross liberal arts curriculum

  • There is no minimum GPA or test score required for admission

Written essays

Letters of recommendation (if provided) offer additional insight into classroom performance


Community involvement and character

We also value the gifts and talents you bring to campus. The activities section of the Common Application is the place for you to describe your extracurricular participation, leadership, and accomplishments. We also get to know you better by reading your essays.

Ultimately, all parts of the application help us evaluate whether Holy Cross College is a good fit for you.