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ND: No double-take for twins

Ann-Marie Woods | Wednesday, February 6, 2008

On average, about six sets of twins apply for admission to Notre Dame every year. In 2005, Chris and Lindsay Holland were one of them.

Though both had dreamed of attending Notre Dame, only Chris was admitted to the class of 2010.

“I think she was happy for me but it was both of our dreams to come here and I would have loved to share that with her,” Holland said.

The Hollands’ case should put to rest any uncertainties about the University’s handling of twin applicants, Assistant Provost for Enrollment Dan Saracino said. Notre Dame reviews twins’ applications separately, he said, quenching rumors that the University would – by policy – either accept both twins or reject both.

“Applicants’ files are each viewed separately,” he said.

In this way, Saracino said, every student has the opportunity to excel in the admissions office, based on his or her credentials. He said it’s not a good idea to base admissions decisions on whether the applicant’s twin sibling is also a good candidate.

“It would not be fair to the twin applicant pool or to the entire applicant pool,” Saracino said.

But freshmen twin brothers Kennedy and Coleman Collins said during their application process last year, a Notre Dame representative in Florida told them the University would not accept one unless it also accepted the other.

“I never had to worry about whether or not I would come to Notre Dame if Coleman didn’t get in. They told us that they wouldn’t split up twins if they had comparable or borderline scores and applications,” Kennedy Collins said.

Just as legacies, ethnic minorities, athletes and the children of faculty members are given particular weight in the admissions office, “some special consideration is given to twin students applying to Notre Dame,” Saracino said.

If one of the twins is borderline admissions material, the University may admit him or her to avoid breaking up the pair.

“But they have to be close [in terms of academic performance],” Saracino said.

Currently, there are approximately 24 sets of twins enrolled at Notre Dame, Saracino said.

The Admissions office always hopes to be able to give good news if possible to both twins applying for admission – but never at the expense of lowering admissions standards, Saracino said. And in cases like the Hollands’, where twins are indeed split up, he suggested the option of transferring into Notre Dame later on.

“Each student ends up where they are supposed to be, whether that is Notre Dame or some other school,” Saracino said.

And that also applies to the dorms they may end up living in.

“We do not encourage twins to live in the same dorm together, but rather we try to put them in the same housing lottery as every other student,” Saracino said.