Family legacies impact college decision

There are many reasons one can be drawn to a college. Some students may be attracted to the size of the institution, while others to the programs that are offered. Some may even be drawn to a college because it is the family alma mater.

However, carrying family legacies isn’t really a deciding factor when choosing a college anymore. According to counselor Jeff Kondrad, legacies are not what drive students to the schools anymore.

“Usually, the only time kids attend their family’s legacy is if it’s one of the big leagues, like Yale,” Kondrad said. “More accurately, they want the prestigious title to keep moving forward in their family, but that’s the only time it really exists.”

Senior Daniel Stempmiewicz, however, has a brother and a sister both attending University of Illinois at Chicago, and he will be joining them in the fall. That does not mean he’s trying to carry on a legacy.

“I’m really only going there because I like the school,” Stempmiewicz said. “It’s not because of my siblings, and I feel like it would be silly for me to go somewhere just because they do.”

Going to a school with family history  has now become a thing of the past, and not many families still maintain that mindset. In the 21st century, it seems that adults have become more lenient when it comes to their children’s decision.

However, going to a legacy school is not always a negative choice. Junior Rachel Svadlena is keen on continuing the legacy started by her mother by attending Carroll University.

“It’s an amazing school, and I’m proud to have family that goes there,” Svadlena said. “So now that the tradition has kind of begun, I want to continue it.”

Svadlena also benefits from this decision because she wants to break into software engineering.

“They have an awesome program for that and I’m actually really excited to go,” Svadlena said.

She doesn’t feel burdened by carrying on the legacy. In fact, she sees it as an honor.

“It’s really cool,” Svadlena said. “Knowing you’re going to the place where your family once was, retracing their footsteps so to speak, is pretty amazing.”