Reader Question: Applying For Twins

Two For The Price Of…Two
Following our event at the Beverly Hills Country Club, we received several emails from parents of twins who asked if we have any suggestions for applying with twins. Anne Simon, co-author of Beyond The Brochure, has this answer:
The question of applying for twins is very interesting. On the one hand, the school is engaging with a family who immediately brings more than one child into the program. While families with more than one child create stability and continuity for the school, they usually come one at a time and the school is not taking a double risk that this family will not understand the school culture, partner with the teachers and administration on educating their children, or be willing to be substantial contributors to the school community in every way – including financially.
The important thing to impress on the admissions folks in the interviewing process–and throughout the application process– is that you, as parents, are not trying to get two children through their school as if they were one. You must let them know that you understand that you will be partners with them on each child, seeing your children individually, contributing to the school with your volunteer efforts for two, supporting the school financially beyond tuition for two, etc.
Of course this approach assumes that both children are equally appropriate for the school and that there exists the appropriate setting for them to enter. The “in class together or in separate classes” issue must be dealt with. Arguments can be made for either. The school’s interest in the balance issues is genuine – gender, age, ethnicity, etc., and will be part of the equation. It will also be helpful to apply to schools that have two classes per grade in case your children need to be in separate classes (for K and up). Your job is to convince the school that they will get that solid family that is committed to the school in every way, the same as a family with siblings who have enrolled over time. If this message is delivered effectively, everybody wins.