Best Kept Secrets Page 5

Top 10 schools that fly under the academic radar - but shouldn't

By Explore Editor

What the students are saying about:

Kenyon College

Kenyon College

Kenyon College, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country, offers a first-rate education in an unpretentious Midwestern atmosphere. The students who land in Gambier, OH tend to do so with purpose, excited to spend four years learning with 1,600 other bright, quirky, friendly individuals. And, for the right kind of student, they should be excited – the commitment to academics at Kenyon is unique even among other top-notch institutions. As one alum writes, “There's a well-known phrase on campus that ‘football is to The Ohio State University what academics and writing are to Kenyon’.” This is partly thanks to the pedigree associated with the Kenyon Review, the national literary journal. But beyond that, students don’t just take classes—they are excited about them, especially those in the famous English department. In turn, professors take students seriously. As one sophomore claims, “Every professor knows my name, even some whose classes I have never taken.” Another says, “I have never, in both my completed years at Kenyon, had one class that I didn't adore.” There are, of course, trade-offs. Kenyon students are described as brainy and quirky and, just as often, awkward. One sophomore pleads, “The students are brilliant … but seriously ... seriously ... can we work on social skills first???” Some students also express their frustration with the limitations of Kenyon’s social life, especially during the long snowy winters. One sophomore sums up the options this way: “As Bob Dylan once said about Kenyon, ‘If I went here, all I would do is go out into the woods and drink.’ Bob, you are right on the mark.” Nonetheless, students seem to be very happy. As a final student says, “ “The thing I love most about Kenyon is that whatever you want to do, as long as you're not hurting yourself or others, it's cool. If you want to stay in and watch movies and eat pizza with friends, that's great. If you want to go to parties, there are always some raging down South. If you want to join a band and play (or go to!) gigs, there's probably a free concert. Because we are small, the attitude is get as many people involved as possible, so things are usually cheap and doors in dorms are open. If you're bored at Kenyon, you're not trying.”