For Currans, it’s all in the family at GW

For the Currans, GW is a family affair.

Three of the four Curran children – Dan, Brendan and Emily – attend GW, with the fourth, Aubrey, planning on applying early decision this year, making the Currans the largest family that Executive Director of the Office of Student Financial Assistance, Dan Small, has ever seen at GW.

While having three children at one school has its challenges – Mrs. Curran said the family rented a 16-person van to get all of her children’s belongings to school – it gives the children the benefit of staying close.

Last year, Dan and Brendan had weekly dinners on Sunday nights, and Mrs. Curran said she hopes the brothers will include their sister this year.

Emily, who opted to live on the Mount Vernon campus, said that despite being the third Curran to enter GW, she is not worried about making her own place at the University.

“I wanted to start the college experience alone, go somewhere new,” Emily said. “But then I went to GW to visit and knew that it was where I was supposed to be.”

Emily also believes that GW is a large enough school that she will not be seeing very much of her siblings.

“We all have very different interests,” she said.

Both brothers have been involved in campus life, with Dan and Brendan working together in the Student Association. Dan served as the SA vice president for undergraduate student policy last year and is currently the chief of staff to president Julie Bindelglass, while Brendan spent part of last year as a School of Business senator. While her brothers’ interests lie in politics and business, Emily said she plans on majoring in psychology in hopes of going on to medical school, but said her major will change “a hundred times before (she) graduates.”

Dan said he started looking at the “usual suspects of D.C. schools,” including Georgetown and American, but was “blown away” by the tour and pamphlets when he came to GW.

“It was just the feeling on campus,” Dan said.

As the family’s culture and arts addict, GW’s location was a huge factor for Brendan.

“We had been visiting Dan and I was really drawn to the District,” Brendan said. “The history, the monuments, who doesn’t love it?”

Aubrey, the youngest Curran sibling and currently a senior in high school, said she has wanted to go to GW before Dan was even looking at colleges.

“Aubrey was the first one interested in being in the city,” said Mrs. Curran. “The others just followed along.”

The Currans qualify for the GW Family Grant, which allows families with more than one student enrolled in the University to receive a half tuition scholarship for the youngest student.

Dan, a senior and the oldest Curran at GW, said he is grateful for the Family Grant, because it means he and his siblings can attend the university they wanted.

“I work at a university and they can all go there for free, but GW’s sibling tuition plan has really helped,” said Mrs. Curran.

The GW Family Grant, Small said, was created around the time University President Emeritus Stephen Joel Trachtenberg began his tenure in the early ’90s, and is the only school he knows that has this kind of program.

Over the last few decade, between 120 and 150 families qualified for the scholarship, Small said. Last year alone, 75 siblings of GW students chose to attend the University.

Dan said he tried to see if the scholarship would allow his third sibling to attend GW for free, however was disappointed to find out it was not possible.

“Last year I was meeting with Dean [of Freshmen Fred] Siegel and he mentioned that he once heard of a buy one, get-one-half-off-and-the-third-free deal and told me to look into it,” Dan said. “I checked and unfortunately, the third child does not come to GW for free.”

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