Twins going to the same college?

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Categories Multiples in the News

Continuing our discussion of separating twins or keeping them together in grade school, there was an article in the New York Times a few days ago about twins applying to or going to the same college. I can’t say that I have even considered this issue–and, with kids who are just 15 months, why would I have?—but it’s an interesting read. Looking back, I knew two sets of twins in college, both identical. In one set, both twins attended college with me, roomed together, had the same major and moved on to the same medical school. In the other set, one went to college with us and the other went to Dartmouth. They later lived together for a few years after college, but now are simply living in the same city. Interesting things to think about…..

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16 thoughts on “Twins going to the same college?”

  1. Wow, I hadn’t given this much thought either. In college, I knew one set of twins –fraternal boys — they rarely were seen together….very independent.

    I’ll have to ask mine if they would like to go to the same college or not! (Wonder if we could get a BOGO out of it! 😉 )

  2. I know I always weigh in on these things but I’m not sure how many MOMs out there are multiples themselves and I happen to be one. My sisters and I didn’t even apply to the same college. The article is correct that if you are all similar achievers you will end up in many classes in high school together since there are limited AP and honors classes (yet another reason not to have them forced to be together as grade schoolers). We are very close and have done things together and apart and separate colleges helped make us better friends and excited to see each other. I spent 1 summer with one of my sisters travelling Europe and spent a year living with the other in Boston.

    I was actually VERY surprised to see how many multiples wanted to to go to the same school. Often it may be practical for in-state tuition but usually those schools are large enough that you can live in different dorms and pursue different activities. We still mention the 2 twins we knew in high school who not only went to college together but roomed together!

    One interesting side story is that I was upset when one of my sisters joined a sorority in college – after all they didn’t have to put up with her for the last 18 years so they shouldn’t have been able to call her a “sister” – that was our title.

  3. I have thought about this recently, because a coworkers’ twin daughters will be roommates as first-years at college together this fall. They swore they didn’t want to go off to school together – didn’t want to be seen as “the twins” any more – but one didn’t make it into her first choice school. And then they started worrying about whether they’d end up with a horrible roommate each …

    I would, of course, love both my daughters to attend my alma mater, especially since it has needs-blind admissions and loan-free aid packages! However, I can see that it might be healthy for them to experience early adulthood separately. However, I won’t have much say in the matter, since by then they will be making their own career and academic decisions, but I will watch with curiosity.

  4. Our twins are only 14 months old–but our oldest is almost 18 years old, do the college thing is going through our minds with great regularity!

    I knew several sets of twins at the small liberal arts college I attended. Some roomed together, some did not, some were in the same fraternities and others didn’t. Upon reflection, it reminds me of what I read about here; twins that seem so connected and twins (like mine) who are certainly siblings, but don’t seem to have that ‘twinny’ thing.


  5. I have actually given this some thought. Yes, I realize my twins are only one 😉

    I remember making fun of friends from high school who roomed together in college. Let alone siblings…. College is a time to really find yourself and blossom as an individual. I think it’s hard to do that when you’re seen as part of a set. Depending on their relationship, I would love to see my boys go off to a big school together and, as Mommy, Esq) stated, live apart and pursue their own interests. But they could always have the comfort/knowledge of knowing the other was not too far off. I think I would be less likely to encourage them going off together to a small school, or even rooming together at a large one.

    Give me 17 years and ask me again, though!

  6. I had a friend in college that was an identical twin. She and her sister went to two different schools in two different states. By our sophmore year my friend transfered to her sister’s school to be closer to her. Then after a year there she transfered back. I think when she was away from her sister the seperation was hard that first year, but then when she moved and realized they fell back into the “twin” thing she realized it was okay to be on her own.
    I think the whole school debate, elementary through college needs to be determined as the children grow. If the parents have the power to make the choice then as the children grow keeping them together or seperating them can happen when it needs to.
    I don’t think the issue is forcing them to stay together, I think the issue is forcing them to be seperated when they aren’t ready. Seperation at some point is a good thing.

  7. My husband has identical twin cousins who just graduated from high school. They had nearly identical class schedules, most of the same friends, and they even share a car! They’re going to start college in the fall, rooming together in the same dorm.

  8. I thought the most interesting point of the NYT story was that twins are worried that they’ll be taking the spot of the other one’s first choice college since the perception is that colleges won’t take too many kids from the same high school, let alone the same HOUSE. I hadn’t even THOUGHT of that! (apparently, it’s not entirely true…but that may depend on the college.)

    I think if I didn’t have b/g twins, I’d be a lot more worried about this…but since I have the luxury of having them seen as individuals simply because they aren’t the same sex, I can relax a little. And I go back and forth with the separation thing…I think the parent should be able to choose – but with input from the teachers who have been with them.

  9. Hi there! Great blog!

    I have a 3 year old boy and 14 month old identical twin girls. I can’t say I’ve thought about college for my kids either. But when my twins were 4 months old, we attended a funeral of a relative. The whole day, they were passed around from one relative to the other. Both became very cranky and wouldn’t settle down even if I finally held the both of them. Finally at dinner time, I got a blanket and laid it on the floor and put the twins on it. You’d think they were separated for years the way the looked at each other and smiled. They reached for each other for a few minutes and then laid their heads down and fell asleep instantly. From then on, my husband and I learned our lesson – they have to have “together” time.

    I am not opposed to the girls living their own lives and doing what they want to do, but I’m thinking these 2 will not go too far from each other.


  10. My girls went to the same college, because the same college pursued them and offered them great scholarships. I asked them to please consider it because I would end up running all over hell’s half acre to get them home and go to events. One had gone to a residential high school for the gifted and talented, so they separated for two years in high school andthat was a help to them coming back together in college. They did not room together and had different majors. They are excellent friends today, and their alm mater also provides life-long friends for the both of them. I am out of the loop, but there used to be “special deals” at some colleges and universities for twins. My twins are 31 and there was only one twin book available at that time! So not much support. This site rocks.

  11. One more thing–on college visits, we found out that twin names that are real matchy matchy–the second twin often gets their application thrown out, whether it be for standardized testing or college entrance. If yours have the same initials, watch for that.
    My twins’ names are very different from each other, so that was not a problem for us.

  12. I’m an identical twin currently attending college, and that NY Times article pointed out a number key issues that my sister and I have had to face. As a junior in high school, I knew exactly where I was going and what I’d be studying. My sister, on the other hand, was looking at 3 schools (2 of which didn’t offer my program, and the other was the same school I was planning to attend). Just like the triplets in the story, we were always a singular entity in high school, so splitting up and becoming individuals sounded fantastic.

    Our senior year, my sister had been set on one school (not mine) for several months when the deadline to accept the offer came up. Much to my dismay, she changed her mind and chose to come to the same school as me! I was very upset because I was sure that a campus of 30,000 students (and two entirely different programs) was not big enough for the two of us.

    Three years later, her choice to come to the same school ended up being the best decision she could have made. That built-in support system and friend is a gift not many at school have! We have our own friends as well as shared friends. We have not lived together (yet), which gives us our own space, although we have chosen to see each other just about every day.

    My advice to parents is to stand back a little and let your kids work it out for themselves. Be supportive of their choices and encourage them to accept and support their sibling’s choice, whatever that may be. There’s no need to push any agenda…going to separate schools, enrolling in separate programs, or choosing to live apart cannot take away the bond that is already there.

  13. Well, this has been interesting reading for me–My girls (fraternal twins) are starting college this weekend. In fact, I dropped one off yesterday and I drop the other one off tomorrow, and I’m reading these posts as I cry into my rare glass of wine. Right after this I’m going to read the NYT article.

    First, many of you talked about elementary school, and what you say is exactly correct. My girls were in different classes all through school until high school, but because they were equal achievers taking mostly AP classes, they ended up in almost all the same classes. That was absolutely no problem at all. I didn’t have too much of the “twin” thing going on–I mean, it’s always there a little, but it wasn’t bad–one of them is very outgoing, the other was not, and sometimes that was a problem–especially when a friend of the quiet one got to be closer to the bubbly one–but in the end, my girls were and remain eachother’s best friend. As a side note, high school was pretty interesting for me to watch. They fought like cats and dogs, and became closer and closer…go figure.

    Anyway, they wanted, from the start to go to separate schools. Unfortunately, the bubbly one who I dropped off yesterday ended up in a suite with 5 girls who are nothing like her and is feeling really anxious. I know she needs to give it time, but inside, I’m worried myself. Last night, the first night there, Lisa wanted to take a walk around campus and join the freshman orientation activities, the girls in her suite opted to stay in and read. Lisa didn’t want to go alone, so she went to sleep.

    On the other hand, Amy, the quiet one, networked before making a housing choice, found a person she liked, requested to room with her, and has been getting to know her for most of the summer, so her experience, when I drop her off, will be different.

    I think they want to step out of the “being seen as a unit thing” because they know they must, but they are also best friends, and miss eachother terribly. Amy went out last night and when she came home, she didn’t raid the fridge. That was odd, so I asked her why she wasn’t hungry, and she said she couldn’t pig out without Lis.

    We try to control too much with our twins, I think. We try to do best, and I think we just overthink everything. I’ve decided that if Lisa decides she wants to join Amy if her situation doesn’t work out, then I’ve got to just leave it up to them. I think they are too different to live together but as one of the posters said, I think they would also choose to see eachother often.

    My son is best friends with a set of twins at his school who have always roomed together. As a sibling of twins, he asked them why they didn’t feel the need to separate, and they said, “WHY? It makes logical sense for us to live together. We know eachother, we like eachother, and it’s easier on our parents. It’s not like we’re joined at the hip, and when the time comes, we’ll separate.” Makes sense.

    I will say this to all you young mothers….it’s just as hard for me to see them separate as it is for them to separate. And while we like to think separation is good, I think it’s important to remember that separation just for the sake of separation is probably not such a great thing as we are led to believe. Twinness isn’t a disease to cure, it’s a gift. In just a few short years they will beginning careers, and/or getting married and having children of their own. The separation will come naturally and happily, so if retrospect, I see no reason to force it. I think we live in a world where it is difficult for kids to make meaningful friendships. Twins are ready made best friends. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?

    I miss my girls…WAAAHHHH…

  14. Two things more:

    My twins have very different names, but unfortunately, the last name is the same and the social security numbers are only one off. Their academic records were almost identical, and they applied to many of the same schools. In two of the schools, one got in and the other didn’t hear from the school–the guidance counselor finally called for a decision, and in both cases, they didn’t realize they were twins and had inadvertantly filed them together as one. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way around it, no matter what their name is–you have to watch, during the application process and make the phone call.

    The other thing is–my twins share a car too. I can’t understand why that would seem strange to anyone. Few kids can afford to buy their own car these days when they are saving for college, and even fewer parents can afford to buy TWO cars in the same year. We now have three kids in college. The tuition bill is about $70,000 per year, so it’s unlikely they will EVER have separate cars until they are on their own and making a good salary.

  15. I have twin daughters and this is college admission time. Both the girls are high acheivers. As we have moved around quite a bit they have always gone to the same schools, though sometimes same classes sometimes different. We always checked with them at the begining of a new school. I too feel separation must not happen for the sake of separation and have encouraged them to do their own thing, which often happened to be the same thing!

    Now my husband and I are really concerned. Both want to apply to the same top colleges. Making them choose half each is in many ways halving their options. this breaks my heart. yet I am told applying to the same college may be detrimental as ‘diversity’ is the latest floavour with colleges and universities. Any advise?

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