Quadruplets flooded with press attention

When his office decided to accept Danbury, Conn., quadruplets Ray, Martina, Carol and Kenneth Crouch to Yale’s class of 2014, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeff Brenzel never imagined the story would make CNN and the front page of The New York Times, he said.

The early admission of the first set of quadruplets in recent memory sparked a media frenzy that has caused the Crouch family to call on the help of the Admissions Office and the Yale Office of Public Affairs in an attempt to protect their privacy, said Thomas Mattia, Yale’s Chief Communications Officer, in a e-mail late December. Since the story first appeared in Danbury’s News-Times on Dec. 17, reporters have contacted the family asking for details of their financial aid offer and the quadruplet’s college preferences, Brenzel said. The media spotlight on the Crouches has been so intense that he compared it to the media speculation on whether Harry Potter star Emma Watson might attend Yale.

Not so stunned by the news of the quadruplets’ admission was Nancy Pond, the college counselor at Danbury High School who guided Ray and Martina Crouch through the application process.

“They were all worried about the probability of all four of them getting in,” Pond said. “Martina kept asking me, ‘Do you think they will take all of us?’ But they are all very high achievers and … had written great essays.”

Pond said that her high school usually sends at least one student each year to Yale. And after receiving a call from the Admissions Office requesting details of Martina’s fall semester grades, she became convinced that good news was on its way for the quadruplets.

Part of the quadruplets’ success, Pond said, stemmed from the fact that they were all very prepared for the application process.

“Their mother really pushed the value of education and they had already done a lot of planning and prepping before they even visited me,” she said. This, combined with other factors, helped them gain admission.

The four siblings all attend Danbury High School, where they have distinguished themselves in different areas: Ken is a a governor’s scholar and National Merit Scholarship finalist, Carol is heavily involved in community service and is active in the school’s Key Club, Ray is captain of the varsity cross-country team, and Martina has won recognition for her original poetry.

While the quadruplets have hinted at going separate ways for college, Pond said she believes separation may not be so easy for the close-knit group who often take the same Advanced Placement classes. Indeed, rather than seeing her individually, Ray and Martina scheduled joint meetings with Pond and prepared much of their college applications together. Still, the quadruplets are reluctant to put their parents under financial stress and are applying to more colleges in hope of finding what other offers may be available, she said.

Yale accepted 730 students from over 5,600 early applications to the class of 2014, the second-lowest early admit rate on record.

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