Are there really scholarships for twins?

Yes, there are several scholarships available for twins and other multiples, especially identical twins and triplets.

Usually, the twins and triplets must all enroll at the same college to qualify for the scholarships. Often, the scholarships are designed as “bogos” (buy one, get one free), where each twin gets a full or partial tuition scholarship in alternating years. Examples include the Lake Erie College Twins Scholarship and Sterling College Two-for-One Twins Scholarship. For other colleges that offer discounts for twins, triplets and other multiples, look at the list of scholarships compiled by the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry.

There’s also an annual Twins Days Festival held on the first full weekend in August in Twinsburg, Ohio. This festival is a good source of information about scholarships for twins.

The federal financial aid formula used by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) favors families where multiple children are enrolled in college at the same time. This benefits families with twins, triplets and other multiples, since they are more likely to have multiple children enrolled simultaneously. The output from the federal financial aid formula is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), a measure of the family’s financial strength. The EFC is the sum of the student contribution (SC) and parent contribution (PC). The parent contribution is divided by the number of children in college at the same time. For example, increasing the number of children in college from one to two is like dividing the parent income in half. Thus, a family who has two or more children enrolled in college simultaneously will qualify for more financial aid than a family whose children are separated in age by four or more years.

The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form also reduces the EFC when there are two or more children enrolled in college at the same time, but not as much as the FAFSA. For example, when there are two children in college, the PROFILE reduces the parent contribution by 40% instead of 50%. When there are three children in college, the PROFILE reduces the parent contribution by 55% instead of 67%. When there are four children in college, the PROFILE reduces the parent contribution by 65%, instead of 75%.