I am part of a loving, wonderful family of four. Three out of the four of our family members are Grovers. In typical Grove City College fashion, my parents met at the College, graduated in ’86, and were married later that year.
On a daily basis, I navigate the challenges and joys that come along with being a senior in college. However, I am not the only one in my family who is a senior this year. My twin brother, Joe, attends an Ivy League university where he studies as a pre-med student.
Compared to other parents of college-age students, my parents possess a unique prospective. They have seen Joe and I tackle each year in our higher education experience. They have witnessed how we responded to new and exciting changes, amazing opportunities, and difficult struggles at our respective schools. Additionally, they have constantly supported my brother and I throughout our college endeavors and trials. Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down and questioning my parents about their experience as parents with kids attending two very different schools.
Overall, please describe your opinions of each college.
We think that both colleges have a high level of academic quality in their programs. We believe both colleges have the right fit for certain students. Not everyone can successfully navigate Grove City College or [the Ivy League university]. We like that Grove City College promotes strong Christian values. On the other hand, we like that [the Ivy League university] has a wide diversity in both its student body and academic staff. We have a high opinions of each college, but for different reasons. We would recommend both schools depending on the prospective student. It seems to us that growth is emphasized at Grove City College while multi- cultural inclusion is emphasized at [the Ivy League university].
What stands out to you about each child’s college experience?
Both of our children have matured and gained not only book knowledge but also practical life skills during their college experiences. [The Ivy League university] has provided raw exposure to many new and diverse opportunities, limited only by the choices made. Grove City College always reflects a Christian worldview lens.
How has each college supported your child?
Both of our children have had positive interactions with their advisors. With student volunteer EMS squad and a variety of research opportunities in practically every field, our son was able to pursue his interests and be active in exploring new activities. With so much “noise” out there, Grove City College has supported our daughter by consistently lifting Christian values and making Jesus bigger than anything in the world.
What can be said about the value of each college? (Price)[The Ivy League university] meets the financial need of a family; we found that the financial aid package offered to us put an Ivy League school within reach (with sacrifice and loans, but there was a way to do it). Grove City College has more limited financial aid and does not participate in federal financial aid programs. For our family situation, it turned out to be relatively costly (again, sacrifice and loans). We found that our love for a special school (we are alumni) and belief that a Christian college is providing more than simply just an opportunity for academics factored in. We feel good about the value of both schools.
What is your favorite thing about each college?
We love the beauty and size of the Grove City College campus as well as the commitment to be Christian to the core. [The Ivy League university] has strong academics, reflecting a place of learning and hard thinking as well as the varied choices of study.
What advice would you give parents who currently have a child selecting a college?
Do not look exclusively at their programs. Make sure that the colleges being considered are a good fit with the child. Additionally, understand your child. What does he/she need in an environment? What does he/she need in terms of programs and activities? What does he/she need in terms of academics and studies? We think it is a matter of helping your child select a school that matches most naturally with what he/she needs to transition into adulthood.