Students follow parents’ college choice

by Stephanie Partida

Legacy is a word often associated with images of powerful kings, shining crowns and anxious kinfolk waiting in line to inherit all kinds of cool things. At Whitworth we have our very own legacies; legacy students.

Legacy students are students whose parents or other family members attended the same university. Students may choose to attend the same college as their family members for a variety of reasons; including financial benefits, strong academic programs and an eagerness to share in similar experiences to their family members.

Sophomore Moregan Balthazor said the fact that her mother attended Whitworth played an important role in her college decision.

“My decision to come here to Whitworth didn’t completely depend on the fact that my mom attended, but it definitely did some,” Balthazor said. “Since I am a legacy student, my tuition is a little lower.”

Whitworth legacy students are awarded a Whitworth University Alumni Scholarship of $1000 upon admission. This scholarship is renewed each year the legacy student attends Whitworth.

Although the financial benefits of being a legacy student did influence Balthazor’s decision to attend Whitworth, it was the desire to be a part of exciting experiences that led her here, she said.

“My mom had so much fun here,” Balthazor said. “She gave me the inside scoop about what Whitworth was like when she attended, and I got excited to come here, too.”

When it came to making the decision about which university to attend, junior computer science major Brennan Metzelaar said he also gives credit to his mother for encouraging him to attend Whitworth.

“Computer science is not a well-known program at Whitworth,” Metzelaar said. “Whitworth is also in Washington, so if it weren’t for my mom having attended I probably would have stayed in California.”

Freshman Hirut Senter, also a legacy student, said she hopes to maintain an equal balance between having fun and having passion for her major.

“My parents went here and got married,” Senter said. “They had a wonderful time. My cousin also went here, and she was a biology major. I think it was hard for her because she always had so much homework. I’ve only been here two weeks, but I think my experiences here are going to be a lot different than my cousin’s were because I’m not taking such a busy route.”

Senter said she is interested in psychology or nursing.

“I love the campus, and I just joined a Frisbee team,” Senter said. “The people on the team are all so encouraging.”

Frisbee, as well as many other extracurricular activities are enjoyed by students at Whitworth. However, rules must be enforced to ensure students can enjoy themselves in a safe environment.

Current students know the rules under the Big Three, but this policy hasn’t always been around.

“My mom said they never had a Big Three policy when she was here,” Metzelaar said. “Things were a lot more relaxed.”

Balthazor’s mom appreciates the Big Three Policy, she said.

“My mom thinks the Big Three policy is a positive thing,” Balthazor said. “She was an RA, and the Big Three were enforced back then, but she said conflicts with students not abiding by the policy could always be sought out.”

Rule enforcement is not the only difference her mom has noticed about Whitworth today in comparison to the past. Balthazor mom also notices the growth in enrollment.

Numbers aside, Balthazor said Whitworth’s legacy students are an imperative part of keeping Whitworth’s tradition and core values alive.

“It’s not extremely important to me that my future children attend Whitworth. I want them to choose a college because they want to go, not because I went,” Balthazor said.

Senter said she wants her future children to be happy regardless of where they choose to attend college.

“I would definitely encourage my future children to look at Whitworth,” Senter said. “As an option when choosing a university. It’s important to me that they are aware of the many opportunities here, and all of the wonderful experiences they could have.”

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