Education is expensive. Where parents of singletons can space their education expenses out over several years, parents of twins and multiples have to pay those costs simultaneously. There are a few opportunities for asssitance in the form of scholarships specifically for multiple birth children.
One For All: Scholarships for Multiples Who Attend the Same College
Generally, the available scholarship funding is offered when twins attend the same college. Here are some colleges and universities with specific programs.
- Randolph College, Lynchburg, Virginia. Offers a 15% discount on tuition when both twins are enrolled; the scholarship is renewable each year of enrollment. There is no application process; contact the financial aid department for further information. In 2008-2009, five sets of twins took advantage of the discount. (Read more about Randolph College at About.com's Guide to College Admissions.)
- Sterling College, Sterling Kansas. Sterling College has had a Twin Scholarship program for 20 years or so. Each twin (or multiple birth) student receives a 50% tuition scholarship. For 2009, that amount would be $9,000 for each twin. Both twins (or multiple birth) must be enrolled full time at Sterling College and must meet admissions requirements of a 2.2 GPA and a score of 18 or above on the ACT.
- Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Wilson College is another all-female school that offers an annual scholarships for twins and triplets. It will pay 45% of each student's annual tuition. To be eligible, all of the female siblings must enroll full-time each semester. Each recipient must submit her enrollment deposit by May 1 in order to receive this scholarship. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on this scholarship at the Wilson College website, click this link and select the tab for "Specialty Scholarships". (Read more about Wilson College at About.com's Guide to College Admissions.)
- Carl Albert State College, Poteau, Oklahoma. The Paula Nieto Twin Scholarship was established by her twin, Penny Nieto Gooch, and family friends. This cash scholarship is awarded to twins. In 2006, the amount was $200 to each student.
- Lake Erie College, Painesville, Ohio. This full tuition scholarship (up to 18 credit hours per semester) is awarded 50/50 if both are enrolled full-time at Lake Erie College. In essence, both twins can attend LEC for the tuition cost of only one.
- Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College , Miami, Oklahoma. The Twin/Triplet Dorm Waiver covers the amount of semi-private room expenses for each twin or triplet who attend NEO together. It is available for both fall and spring semesters. An application form is available online. **Update August 2012: The application is no longer online and I can not confirm whether this option is still available.
- Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. The Layton Frazier McKinley Scholarship is given to twins with a preference given to identical twins. Twin students must have a 3.33 grade point average or higher with a first choice of accounting as their major at the school. The amount is unconfirmed. (Read more about Indiana University at About.com's Guide to College Admissions.)
- Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Furlotte Twins Endowed Scholarship is for upperclassmen enrolled in the College of Education Elementary Education Program with a minimum 3.0 GPA that exhibit promise, creativity and academic conscientiousness. Preference is given to twins. (Read more about Eastern Michigan University at About.com's Guide to College Admissions.)
Multiple Sibling Discounts
Even if a college or university does not have a specific scholarship fund or award designated for twins, they may have a sibling discount program. These programs offer a discount when sibilngs from the same family are enrolled simultaneously. Amounts vary and may be a set discount (ex. $500 per semester) or a percentage of tuition (such as 10-50% off the cost of tuition).
- Quinnipac University, Hamden, Connecticut. Full-time, undergraduate siblings concurrently in attendance at Quinnipiac are eligible to receive an additional $2,000 award, per year, in addition to their regular financial aid award. This award is applicable toward tuition only and is renewable each year in which undergraduate eligible siblings are concurrently in attendance.(Read more about Quinnipac University at About.com's Guide to College Admissions.)
- George Washington University, Washington D.C. Not just for twins, the family program at GWU offers a 50% discount for a second sibling. For more information about the Family Grant at GWU, contact the Office of Financial Assistance at 2121 I St., NW #310, Washington, DC 20052, (202) 994-6620 or (800) 222-6242. (Read more about George Washington University at About.com's Guide to College Admissions.)
- California Baptist University, Riverside, California. The Multiple Sibling Discount is designed to assist students from families with two or more members who are simultaneously attending the traditional undergraduate program at the university on a full-time basis. Recipients must be immediate members of the same family (siblings or parents) in which two or more family members are currently enrolled at California Baptist University on a full-time basis. Recipients receive $500 per semester for the Spring and Fall semesters.
I have seen references to the Bonnie Evans Feinberg Scholarship at West Chester University of Pennsylvania but I could not obtain confirmation from the financial aid offices at this institution.
Going Their Own Way: Additional Scholarships
Twins that aren't planning to attend the same college may qualify for scholarships through a twins club or organization. Many mothers of twins clubs support a scholarship fund that awards annual gifts. Often the awards are given to families that are members -- another benefit of joining a club. Contact your local organization for information, or go to National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs for information about a club in your area.
The annual Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio awards a $1,000 scholarship to a pair of twins to help with college expenses. The winning pair of twins must be seniors in high school and have attended and registered at least three of the last five festivals.
Northwest Association Mother of Twins Clubs awards several scholarships per year to those candidates who qualify as a multiple birth and are looking to further their education. Once known as the Twin Scholarship Fund, it is now called the Shan Pynes Scholarship.
Are you aware of other scholarships or programs to help defray the cost of a college education for multiples? Email me at email@example.com and let me know so that I can update the resources on this page.