The Quintessential College Experience

September 28, 2020


If you’ve been on campus lately, passed a group of people who looked strangely similar, your eyes did not deceive.

Those are Bellarmine’s quintuplets.

Jackson, Jacob, Chloe, Ella and Samuel Powell, 18-year-old quints from Jeffersontown, Ky., are off to a great start as first year students at Bellarmine this fall.

Jackson will join Ella in studying nursing. Jacob is going into computer engineering, while Samuel and Chloe plan to pursue business administration and roll into the early entry MBA program, which will allow them to earn a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in 5 years. Chloe will also minor in International Studies.

Bellarmine Bound, and Bound, and Bound, and …
They didn’t originally plan to go to the same college. Each weighed options both local and regional, public and private. In the end, Bellarmine made the most sense for each of them, they said.

“We needed somewhere affordable since there are five of us,” Chloe said. “It ended up that Bellarmine gives really good scholarships.”

All five came to Bellarmine with hefty financial-aid packages they earned from being excellent students. Most of them brought in college credits that they earned online. They all work—full time in the summer—and bought and pay for their own cars.

The quints, who graduated high school from the Christian Educational Consortium, say that being from such a large family worked to their advantage. They push each other to achieve.

“Having five siblings made us super competitive, but in a good way, with grades, ACT scores and sports and stuff,” Ella said.  

They each earned a combination of Bellarmine’s many financial-aid offerings, with Chloe earning the largest package: $45,755 from seven different scholarships and grants.

They also earned scholarships from their employers—Chick-fil-A for Ella, Chloe and Samuel, and Culver’s Restaurant for Jacob and Jackson.  

“Bellarmine was cheaper than other places, so it was a no-brainer,” Ella said. “They have a really good nursing program for me. It fit everyone’s major.”

The family agreed that campus life felt like the right fit, too.

“We wanted smaller classrooms,” Choe said. “We really liked Bellarmine on our tour. It just felt like we weren’t a number.”

Chloe is interested in Bellarmine’s study abroad program. Samuel likes Bellarmine’s internship guarantee.

“Business administration is a broad major, so an internship can help me narrow down what I want to do in my career,” he said.

Their mom, Stephanie Powell, said she didn’t push the quints toward any college in particular, but she is pleased with their choice. “I think it’s pretty awesome,” she said. “I did not think they would all go to Bellarmine. But there’s the small classes, easier [to navigate] campus and all kinds of things Bellarmine offers. We are very happy.”

Quint life
The Powells are the first surviving set of quintuplets born in Kentucky. Quints are extremely rare; fewer than 20 sets are born in the U.S. each year. Jacob and Jackson are identical twins, while the others are fraternal.

But when asked how they feel about being so special, the quints shrug it off as normal life for them.

“The only impressive thing to me was our mom being pregnant with five; that must have been so hard,” Samuel said.

The quints look back at growing up as a daily party, with never a dull moment.

“We were always together in the basement, playing dodgeball, making up all these games,” Chloe said. “We’d slide down chairs in life jackets. We just had a ball.”

Ultimately, the quints say they’re happy to begin life at Bellarmine and working toward their future careers.

Read more about the Powell quintuplets in Bellarmine's fall alumni magazine.


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