How are twins or siblings handled in the admissions process?
Here is my video response to the question.
I have always been surprised when twins matriculate at the same college, particularly when they weren’t restricted financially and had many choices. I work privately with many twins, however, and they always seem to be very different people and don’t wind up at the same college. From what I’ve read on this topic, there is no policy about accepting twins, but colleges are sensitive to this issue and don’t really like the idea of taking one and rejecting another. (I have definitely seen this practice in private schools in my area.) As far as siblings go, there isn’t necessarily preferential treatment. As elite schools get more competitive, there are constantly more stories about legacy rejections, even among donors. If that is the case, siblings certainly won’t get special treatment.
Twins or siblings applying to the same school are usually evaluated individually according to their own merit. Sometimes being a twin, or quadruplets can be used as a hook however. Just ask Yale.
At some colleges it’ll be an all or none decision, but many simply judge each student on his/her own merit.
In almost all cases, siblings who are going through the college admission process at the same school will be reviewed independently of one another. This means that, unfortunately, if you and your twin are both applying to Cool School U, there is a chance that one of you could be admitted while the other is not. However, there are actually some schools that, should you both be admitted and decide to attend, will award you a scholarship for being a twin…pretty cool!
Each child is looked at as an unique individual when they apply to the university program. The good news is that their financial aid picture does change just a bit with a lowering of their EFC for every member of the household attending college.
For all their obvious similarities twin and siblings are treated as separate and individual people and applicants in the college admissions process. Yes, they have the same last name and some overlapping DNA, but those facts notwithstanding there is every possibility, not to mention likelihood, that there will be significant difference in the many other things–like academic record, co-curricular involvement, tests scores, etc. that are all a part of the admissions decision making process. The other thing that may be different–and this is true when there are multiple students applying from the same school–is that the context in which the records are viewed is likely to be the same. In the end, every applicant’s file is reviewed on its own merits as the admissions office looks for people who will add to their campus community and serve their institutional needs.
Although this can be difficult for twins specifically, each applicant is judged based on their individual qualifications. I have experienced a number of twins/siblings in the admissions process. In some instances, both are admissible or both are not admissible. The most difficult is when one is admissible and the other is not. I have had to council students when this has occurred. In some cases the students can be relieved because they now have the opportunity to grow and become their own person in another school and they have never had that opportunity. I am the father of twins and know that some twins need to have this time by themselves. There are also instances where twins are inseparable and have a great bond which helps them be the great people that they are. If this is the case for your twins, then you should make this a part of the college search process and choose school that both can obtain admissions and be giving the educational challenges they each require. But keep in mind that in the admissions process, they are reviewed and judged individually. Not as a team.
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