Katie McGinty Wasn’t Really the First in Her Family to Attend College

But the Democratic Senate candidate was the first to complete a four-year program. Her younger brother enrolled in a two-year program before her.


Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty has frequently claimed throughout her campaign that she was first in her family to attend college, but a BuzzFeed report released Wednesday shows otherwise.

McGinty’s older brother, John McGinty, appears to have graduated before her – in fact, the La Salle University registrar’s office told BuzzFeed Thursday that John attended the university in January of 1971 and graduated in 1973 as part of a two-year program.

It’s also listed on his Facebook page.

This would all be fine if McGinty had specified that she was first in her family to attend a four-year university program, but she wasn’t always so clear.

McGinty, who is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey, graduated from St. Joseph’s in 1985. On her campaign website and in a May 23rd press release, McGinty states the truth – that even as the 9th sibling (out of 10) she was the first in her family to complete a four-year college program.

But in an April speech to the NAACP, McGinty said, “Even though I was number nine, I was the very first one to go to college in my family,” Buzzfeed reports.

And in January, McGinty told the Associated Press she’s “in this race to stand with working families and to rebuild the middle class … It’s personal for me. As the ninth of 10 kids and the first in my family to go to college, I’ve been privileged to live the American dream.”

In a February Facebook post, McGinty said she was the “first in my family to go to college, and I did so with the help of a scholarship.”

In a McGinty campaign statement obtained by Buzzfeed Thursday, John McGinty attempted to back up his sister and clear the air:

“The way that Katie and our family have always talked about our experience is she was the first of the 10 McGinty kids to attend and graduate from a four-year college, straight out of high school,” John said. “We were all really proud of that, just as we were proud that I earned my degree by completing a two-year program and then enrolling in La Salle.”

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.