Legacy students share college decision process

At some point or another, most of us tried our hand at rebelling against our parents.

Whether it was ignoring those intolerable rules, staying out way too late on a school night, or pretending to lose track of time and breaking curfew, we all have similar experiences in trying to distance ourselves from our mom and dad.

But then college applications roll around, and you start to wonder where you want to go to school. Then it hits you—‘hey, dad got a pretty solid education in Tech’s Aerospace program’ or ‘mom didn’t do too bad for herself after doing pre-med at Tech’.

Many kids end up choosing Tech (or other colleges) based off of legacy, most likely from parents, or even aunts, uncles or grandparents.

Currently, one in every five students here on campus has had at least one of his or her parents attend Tech. This sounds like a pretty staggering number, so one has to wonder—what is causing all of these legacies?

Is it the tight leash parents put on their children to go to a school that accepts the HOPE scholarship?

How about finally coming to terms and realizing being like dear old mom and dad isn’t so bad after all?

Or maybe you just weren’t given the choice at all to attend a different school?

Some students with legacies had a definite decision to make whether or not to attend Tech.

“It was a moderately difficult decision to come to Georgia Tech,” said Andrew Kim, a third-year IsyE major.

“Actually, my parents didn’t put pressure on me at all- I had the choice to come to Tech. My dad went here, and he just told me I had to work pretty hard at this school,” Kim said.

Other students had somewhat of an easier choice in enrolling to Tech.

Devon Clifford, third-year MGT, is a triple legacy.

Clifford said, “that her resolution was a little bit difficult…I wanted to go to an Ivy, or it was University of Georgia or Georgia Tech. Then I decided it was a no brainer to come to here And I think if I chose UGA over Georgia Tech, my parents would have disowned me,” said Clifford.

“My dad gave me a lot of advice about the school. First, to take five years to graduate. He told me a lot about the traditions on campus and to get involved in anything at Tech,” said Clifford.

Betsy Calender, a first-year IsyE, has a Tech legacy through her uncle.

Calender explained she had a challenging decision in choosing Tech.

“Yes, it was a difficult decision to come here, because I had a lot of choices to decide from,” Calender said.

“I didn’t know what I was looking for in colleges, but I ended up coming here. No one in my family pressured me to go to one school or another. The only thing my uncle told me was that Tech is a really hard school. His advice was you can have fun here and work hard, but the work is more important,” Calender said.

It seems as though with each new school year, more and more legacies are making their way into Tech.

Some students with family history at Tech feel as though coming to campus was an easy decision, while others found it rather difficult.

For brother and sister Catherine and Chris Chapman, whose father graduated from Tech in ‘84, the choice was clear that they wanted to attend Tech.

“[My father] said you can go wherever you want, so long as it’s Georgia Tech. Tech was really the only place I wanted to go though,” said Catherine Chapman, fourht-year AE.

Chris ultimately had a choice of schools but decided to come to Tech because of what Tech offers after graduation.

“I had a choice but the options after Tech were a whole lot better than other colleges in general,” said Chris Chapman, second-year AE.

Having a parent, uncle, aunt, or grandparent to exchange college experiences with can lead to further bonding, or it could just be convenient to share similar complaints with. Either way, being part of a Tech legacy makes for an interesting set of experiences that can be shared across generations.