Lauren and Lyndsay DeGroot are twins from Niwot, Colo. who are making Calvin work for them financially. They talk about why they chose Calvin, the financial aid they are receiving and why student loans aren't as bad as they might seem.
LYNDSAY: I looked at 12 schools. My dad took four of us to visit Calvin, and I felt something so different about the vibe on campus. The academics were very impressive. And I saw right away that faith was the real thing. Everywhere else we went, it was like a side dish.
LAUREN: Honestly, I didn’t really want to go to Calvin because I felt like I was fulfilling a stereotype—I’m CRC, I’m a Dutch kid, so at first I was apprehensive about coming here. But when I started class it was so authentic. I tell people it’s because of the faith-based learning—it’s so real. It blows me away every day. I’m in love with my classes.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT CALVIN?
LYNDSAY: My newfound love for school—I’m such a nerd! The professors are researching; they’ve done stuff that actually matters; they have real-life experience. This is their calling, their vocation. That was definitely surprising.
LAUREN: Some people want to stay safe in college. I remember being in that boat. I could go to college 20 minutes from my house, but I chose to go 20 hours from home. This feels like jumping into cold water and being surprised [to find] that I love swimming on my own.
ON COSTS AND FINANCIAL AID
LYNDSAY: Our dad is an accountant, so he’s taught us to be very careful with our money. Not stingy, but cautious. We both got scholarships at Calvin, and we each have taken out loans. We worked really hard in high school—at DQ, in a smoothie shop, in a nursing home. Now our job is to work hard and keep our scholarships.
My mom also got a full-time job to help pay for this, but it’s something she felt called to do, and Calvin is a college my parents believe in.
LAUREN: I feel that at Calvin we're allowed to be stewards of our money. You can soak up everything—and that is serving the Lord by using money wisely. When I see the tuition statement, I think “whoa!” But my dad made it clear that there’s nothing wrong with student loans. He keeps telling us, “When you graduate, you’re going to get jobs. You’ll probably live in a crappy apartment at first, but you’ll pay it [your student loans] off.”
WHAT MAKES CALVIN WORTH IT?
LYNDSAY: Authenticity is something I strive for in my life. That’s what Calvin College is: It’s authentic in everything it does. I don’t ever feel like I’m faking it.
LAUREN: Intentionality. I’m an AC (activities coordinator) in my dorm, and I realize that the smallest details are for a purpose. It takes more work to be intentional, but that’s how Calvin does everything—how they teach, give tests, run chapel, how Pastor Mary challenges us, what’s behind the January Series. Calvin wants us to grow and live.