We began what was to be a marathon day of campus tours (even by counselor standards!) at tiny Holy Cross College, which is situated very near the campuses of Notre Dame University and it’s sister school, St. Mary’s. (In fact, the three are known collectively as a tri-campus community.)
Holy Cross was the smallest of the eight campuses we visited in total on this tour swing, but its size was largely offset by the amenities offered by its much larger neighbors. In short, if you’re the type of student who learns best in a very small and concentrated learning environment but also wants to be able to go to a Division I football game on a Saturday afternoon in October, Holy Cross might be just the type of school that will be your perfect match.
Formerly a two-year college, Holy Cross has grown its academic offerings to include nine four-year majors (and counting) and the programs are designed so that one hundred percent of Holy Cross graduates will have done an internship before receiving their degrees. (There are only nine other colleges and universities in the United States that can boast that figure.) There is also some class sharing between Holy Cross and its neighbors, though additional fees may apply. It’s also noteworthy that around ninety percent of Holy Cross students have a study abroad experience while they’re enrolled – usually service or mission work that takes them to faraway countries like Ghana and Brazil.
Because of its two-year roots, Holy Cross didn’t always have housing available for students on campus, but as the school and its programs continue to grow, nearly fifty percent of students currently occupy campus housing and ground will soon be broken on additional dormitory space, as the existing spaces are full to capacity.
Admittedly, with the temptation of a larger university so close to campus (and a very prestigious one at that!), many students will enroll at Holy Cross with the full intention of spending a year and then transferring to Notre Dame or St. Mary’s. Yet many of those students wind up loving the small environment on campus and not following through on their plans. For the ones that do choose the transfer route, the path is straightforward in terms of transferring academic credits and Holy Cross can offer small, individualized classes that help students boost shaky GPAs as they emerge from their high school careers before immersing themselves into a larger school environment.
For equestrians, good news! Holy Cross, St. Mary’s, and Notre Dame share their club sports across their three campuses, which means that any student who attends one of the colleges can ride on the combined IHSA team that is made up of riders from all three. (They compete under the flag of Notre Dame, so be prepared to yell “Go Irish!” when your team wins, but such unity never hurt anyone’s competitive drive.) The team offers competitive and non-competitive memberships, so if you don’t want to show initially but instead want to get your feet wet with a social membership by attending club functions and riding once a week, the option is available to you.
Want to learn more about the opportunities at Holy Cross (or any other college)? Contact me!