Sibling See, Sibling Do: Siblings Can Influence College Footsteps
Do you have any older siblings? I have a big sister that is six years older than me. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be like her. Oh how I wished for Jordache jeans and monochromatic polo style shirts so that I too could pop double layered collars like my big sister. She could drive before me, go out on dates – back then watching her I just couldn’t wait to get older. My big sister admiration took a major bump up when it was time for her to go to college. I ogled in admiration as she emptied her childhood drawers and filled an old black rectangular trunk with her clothes. From my middle school point of view it was beyond cool that she got to pick out a comforter twin set, towels and shower shoes for her college journey. I remember feeling that I couldn’t wait to get to college to be able to do the same one day. There are also six years between my oldest and middle boy child. My son relies on his big sister to provide the answer to every song title he is unsure of. My youngest, also a girl, puts her hands and feet out when her big sister does her nails. These days she looks to her big sister, not me, for outfit approval and suggestions. I am told that when I am not around she plays mama to them, and that they listen to her. When the time comes our oldest will have no other choice but to be the first one up to blaze the college path. God willing she will go. Not only to benefit her life, but also to benefit her younger siblings. According to a recent study, our oldest college attendance can influence her little brother and sisters decision to attend college. Based on academic skill and other characteristics, younger siblings are about 15 percentage points more likely to enroll in four‐year colleges or highly competitive colleges if their older siblings do so first. Younger siblings are more likely to follow the college choices of their older siblings the more they resemble each other in academic skill, age and gender. 31% of younger siblings apply to the college their older sibling attended. 19% of younger siblings enroll in the same college as their older sibling. I in no way think that my oldest has more influence over her little brother and sister than her father and I. But, it’s nice to know we have an influence back up floating around the house. The hubby and I have pursued our college paths. And the kiddos are not all that interested in our college days when we had to register for classes by phone/in person. When the day comes to pack our oldest up for college the younger siblings will be there to watch. They will visit her dorm room on moving day and hopefully all of that will too offer them a dose of I want to do that someday.
Do you think your oldest will/has influence your younger kiddos to attend college?