Family Ties

Choosing A Quality Education By Following Brothers' Footsteps

“With our first son, we fell in love with the school,” says Julie. “We went over for a day visit and the campus was beautiful. It just felt like home.”

In the spring of 2012, Quincy Pringle started thinking about where he might want to go to college. He was in his sophomore year at a small high school in central Florida and he had a penchant for music and technology. As one of seven children, Quincy knew that whatever school he chose would need to provide generous financial aid benefits. His two older brothers, Rhett and Glen, were attending Saint Leo University, a two-and-a-half hour drive from home, and Quincy was leaning in that direction as well. Quincy’s parents, Julie and Matt Pringle, had been delighted with both of their older sons’ experiences at Saint Leo.

“With our first son, we fell in love with the school,” says Julie. “We went over for a day visit and the campus was beautiful. It just felt like home.” The Pringles loved the low student-to-faculty ratio. The university’s core values matched their family way of life. Many of the buildings were new and modern and the grounds were lush.

“We were a little nervous when we saw the price tag,” says Julie. “We said, ‘we can’t do this, it’s out of our range’.” But they were so impressed with Saint Leo, they decided to look into it anyway. “After learning more about the Honors Program and the scholarship opportunities, it seemed like it could be a possibility,” Matt says.

The school found creative ways to help both brothers with tuition. The staff in the Admissions office saw that Rhett was cheerful and outgoing and offered him a job as a student ambassador. “He gave students tours around campus,” says Julie. That experience later translated into a communications internship that also helped with costs. When younger brother Glen arrived, he also became a student ambassador and then moved into a role as a Resident Assistant in charge of his residence hall floor. “I can’t speak highly enough of the staff in the admissions and financial aid offices,” says Matt. “They really worked hard to help make it possible for our boys to attend.”

When it came time to drop their sons off at school, the university again impressed the Pringles with its attention to detail. “Saint Leo offers a comforting drop-off experience,” says Julie. During orientation for their eldest son, Rhett, they arrived early and helped him get settled. “His roommate wasn’t there yet so he got first choice of which bed, dresser, desk, and closet he wanted,” says Matt. “He was excited about that. I felt proud watching him set up his room just the way he wanted. I could tell he was really settling in.” That evening, the university hosted a dinner for all incoming students and their families. Later, the families were invited to attend a lecture by a national speaker. “He talked about helicopter parenting which was very helpful but which, as the mother of seven children, I thought was hilarious,” says Julie. “The speaker talked about the small size of the university and all the programs available for students and parents, the fact that there is Mass every day, and advisors on campus. That first time, we knew Rhett was in good hands and it just made us comfortable letting go.”

Pringle Photo 5

The family weekend is always exciting, Matt says. “The other Pringle siblings look forward to getting a taste of their brothers’ college life. There are a lot of activities to do that day, from sampling the food in the dining hall to getting a tour of the new business building to meeting faculty and staff.”

Although they were delighted with their experience at Saint Leo, Julie and Matt were committed to putting school choice in the hands of their children. So, when Quincy started thinking about choosing a college, the family began gearing up for another round of campus tours. “We really like the idea of the boys going to the school they choose, not the one their parents wanted them to go to,” says Matt. With their third son, they went out of their way to lay out all the options. Julie brought home pamphlets and brochures for other small- to medium-sized universities in Florida. “I said, ‘Don’t you want to read about this? Don’t you want to see what they offer?’ But he said no.”

When asked what most influenced his decision to attend Saint Leo, Quincy doesn’t mince words. “The biggest factor for me is financial,” he says. “I could find the best school in the world but if it was out of my price range it wouldn’t matter. The greatest thing about Saint Leo is that it is a high quality school and I can get a premium education. I don’t have to compromise due to finances.” As an incoming freshman for Fall 2014, Quincy plans to pursue dual majors in multi- media management and business.

Julie admits that she and Matt are delighted with Quincy’s choice and they regularly encourage friends with high school seniors to look at Saint Leo University. “We tell them to go there,” she says. “Meet the professors in person, walk the campus, breathe the air. If you take the time to do that, you’ll be stunned. There is just something about it that makes it very, very special.”