The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

August 31, 2013

Gustavus sees uptick in Legacy Students

Family history influences students' college picks

The advice being given to incoming freshmen in Norelius Hall at Gustavus Adolphus College was typical of parents dropping their kids off at any college.

“Study hard. You’re not just here to make friends.” “Don’t stay up too late.” “You know, you can always come home on the weekends; we’re just an hour away.”

But the advice of many parents helping haul boxes and bedding up flights of stairs was a bit more practical, considering they were speaking from experience.

“I had a very nice time here,” said Beth (Neuman) Jones of Hopkins, and her family history at the college served as pretty good assurance that her son, an incoming freshman, would too.

Beth graduated from Gustavus in 1982. Her older sister and brother had gone to Gustavus before her, having graduated in 1974 and 1980, respectively.

About 30 years later, Beth’s son, Henry, was the next to attend the college, graduating in 2012. And following in a long line of Neumansand Jones on Friday was William Jones, an incoming freshman, who was getting some help from Mom and Dad in putting his dorm room together in Norelius.

Jones was a part of a much bigger trend than just his family’s. For the past several years, about 20 percent of the freshman class have been known as “Legacy Students,” those who have grandparents, parents or siblings who attended Gustavus before them.

The status comes with a tuition break — $2,500 annually. But few mentioned that as an influence on their decision to come to Gustavus. (Well, few freshmen mentioned it. Some of their parents were quite appreciative.)

William’s No. 1 reason for wanting to be a Gustie was shared by many of his fellow students: the food.

“The food is really good. I’ve tried everything 10 times,” said William, who has been on campus for a couple of weeks for cross-country. “It’s all those little things that add up to a good environment.”

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