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Quintuplets at York College find everything they need parents say

April 07, 2020
Photo of the Keough family
The Keogh Family

The odds of having quintuplets are about 50 million to 1. The odds of all five siblings going to the same college? Good luck figuring that out. 

For the Keogh family of New Jersey, choosing York College of Pennsylvania for all five quintuplets came down to a number of things: academics, safety, size, and happiness. 

“York College was one of five of the 25 schools we looked at that had all five majors our kids were interested in,” dad Jim Keogh recalls. Finances mattered, too. “It also came down to dollars and cents. The Dean of Admissions sent an email after our visit saying, ‘I know your children are interested,’ and if they wanted to attend, he would make it happen for them.” 

The right fit 

The quintuplets, now first-year students at the College, are all very much individuals with varied career goals. Brigid and Meaghan are studying Nursing; Jacqueline is in the Civil Engineering program; Elizabeth is majoring in Special Education; and Patrick is pursuing Business and Finance.

“York College had a fit for all the majors,” mom Susan says. “The more I visited, the more I felt this way.” Susan liked the career orientation of the school. “I looked at graduation rates with nursing, teaching, [and] engineering. It makes it easier choosing one school if the school gives the kids everything they need to get a job and has all the degrees the kids are pursuing."

Susan was also impressed the school president was visible every time they visited York. “I felt the president would be interested in the students who go there,” she says. “We never saw another college president on our visits.” 

Susan says she didn’t think the quintuplets would end up at the same school. “We wouldn’t have done all the visits if we knew this,” she admits. In the end, though, it made the most sense for all five to attend York College. Ultimately, she says, the kids made the final decision.

Peace of mind

Each of the Keogh quintuplets, though tightly bonded, has her and his own lifestyle outside the classroom. “Brigid, Meaghan, and Elizabeth are in the same sorority. Patrick is in a fraternity. Jacqueline has (varsity) soccer,” Jim says. Meaghan and Brigid also play club lacrosse.

“I haven’t heard ‘there is nothing to do’ or that it’s boring,” Susan adds. “There are many weekend activities.”

Jim also feels his children are getting a well-rounded experience. Not only is there plenty to do on campus, he says, but smaller class sizes ensure his kids won’t get lost in the classroom.

Susan says having all five quintuplets at the same school gives her “peace of mind having them together.” She notes they are not dependent on the others for happiness, but they can rely on each other for support academically and emotionally when needed. “Even in high school, each had his or her own friends, did things with their own friends,” Susan says.

Adjustment made easier

Going from seven children to empty nesters, with the final five children leaving all at once, has been tough for mom and dad. “It’s still hard some days,” confesses Jim. “I miss the kids even with all the sporting events and other activities we get to.” It’s nice, he says, to see all five children when they travel to watch Jacqueline’s soccer games.

Describing the experience of five children leaving home all at once as “going from chaos to quiet,” Jim is comforted by what he hears from his kids. “They say the professors are preparing them for class and what they’re learning. They have all the opportunities to get what they need. There is no second-guessing of their choice.”

Susan concurs. “I feel they are very lucky to be where they are, getting a good education in their fields in a safe environment,” she says. “As a parent that’s all you can want for your kids.”