Barlow Twins Graduate NC A&T State With Identical 4.0 GPAs
Saturday at North Carolina A&T State University’s commencement, identical twins Alissa and Ariel Barlow graduated with identical 4.0 grade-point averages.
Their paths through the university have varied only slightly over the past four years. Alissa has been an economics major. Ariel majored in marketing and sales. Alissa had two internships with GE Capital; Ariel, with Kraft and 3M. They’ve been active in different organizations, the Aggie Economics Association for Alissa and the American Marketing Association for Ariel, for example.
Their academic accomplishments are nothing new. The twins were co-valedictorians at Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia. At A&T, both were honor students and received the Dowdy Scholarship, the university’s preeminent four-year scholarship. And they arrived on campus with the same goal.
“When we came in as freshmen, we definitely had a goal to graduate with a 4.0,” Alissa says. “We had an honors mentor who actually had a 4.0. That set the groundwork for us. We said, ‘If she can do it, then we can definitely do it, too.’”
That commitment didn’t require them to concentrate solely on academics at the expense of other activities. Both were peer mentors, members of the Council of Presidents and parliamentarians for organizations they were involved in.
“We prioritized our time so we could do both,” Ariel says.
Alissa says extracurricular and organizational activities can be a factor in achieving academic goals: “Don’t try to focus too much on one thing over the other, because that’s how you get lost. If you focus too much on academics, then you get tired of academics.”
They trace their academic ambitions back to their mother’s expectations. “Our mother really did demand excellence from us,” Ariel says. “She expected us to do the best we could.”
After graduation, Alissa will go to work for GE Capital; Ariel will join General Mills.