Gambier, OH
Kenyon College


43 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Chris
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The big picture is pretty small. Kenyon is set in the small village of Gambier, OH. Students outnumber residents, which means...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The big picture is pretty small. Kenyon is set in the small village of Gambier, OH. Students outnumber residents, which means pretty much all the entertainment is student created, but there is plenty of it. Whether it's sports, theater, stand up comedy, a musical group, or something else almost all students are involved with some sort of group that enhances student life. Professors are interested in students as individuals; there's no shortage of individual attention here.

Describe the students at your school.

Students tend to be wealthy, liberal, and white, but there isn't any noticeable prejudice against other groups. There is a sizable LGBT group on campus. Liberal campus organizations tend to be the dominating political voice. The Kenyon Libertarians club has more members than the Republicans club. The majority of students do not strictly practice a religion. Students come from all over the world, but a majority of students are from the east; Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania have the largest contingencies.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Obviously not universally, but a large chunk of the student body does fit this profile.

What are the academics like at your school?

Classes are small. I've yet to have a class with more than 22 students, and many classes are much smaller. The professors are great; they all have lots of office hours which students are encouraged to come to. The atmosphere is probably not as competitive at comparable colleges; student work hard for the sole purpose of learning. The difficulty of the grading varies a lot from major to major and professor to professor. Some classes are an easy A-, while others require a lot of hard work just to get a B. Sciences tend to be harder than humanities and fine arts.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The swim team is sick. 29 consecutive national championships or something like that. There definitely isn't a jock culture on campus, but sporting event are pretty well attended none the less. Plays, musical performances and lectures draw large audiences too. Students are not overly concerned about there safety. Most dorm room doors are left unlocked despite please from the administration. The college currently does not have any swipe card systems for entrance to forms or the dining halls, but the administration is trying to change that despite heavy student resistance. The frats exist, they through good parties on the weekends, but most students don't pledge. Most students go out on only Friday and Saturday nights.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Kenyon students are rich, politically left-leaning, artsy, English majors from the east coast.

Pete
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Student complaints deal specifically with the administration of the school. Most of us feel that because we go to a smaller s...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Student complaints deal specifically with the administration of the school. Most of us feel that because we go to a smaller school (as opposed to a state school where administration can't really get complete student feed back) it is not too much to ask for the administration to be more open and communicate with us. Currently, Kenyon has open dorms, there are no swipe cards or security locks, but most everyone locks their doors when they are not in the room. This will soon change with the implementation of swipe cards on all dorm building doors. While this may seem like a no-brainer it really conflicts with what many students see as "kenyon." Also, this action would have been taken without any student input because the administration and board had passed it without any student council consent, and when they did bring it before the student body it was more of "this is what will happen..." rather than "We what your feed back..." Without much else in the way of city entertainments we really care about our school and its maintainance.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

In some ways, yes. It is very useful to have a very good grasp of the English language, and being ditsy is a sign of being uncultured and uneducated. However, there are many more areas of excellence at Kenyon, a lot of very intelligent science and economics majors and some very gifted art students. But on the whole most every one is very laid back and enjoys writing to a certain extent.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors Know your name. Even in intro classes, just a small effort can go a long way to getting to know a professor. You don't have to put up with bullshit professors, usually you can transfer classes easily and most teachers have their reputations so picking classes is pretty simple. Lots of participation, even lecture classes become participation grounds, and most teachers have at least 10% of the grade riding on participation. Students are competitive, but no overly zealous. There are those few cut throats, but generally if you want to find someone to study with or get some info from it is possible. Political Science is a great department, lots of neo-conservative opinions within the teachers, but for a very liberal college, this supports a lot of political dialog.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Extremely literate, with a passion for poetry and writing, and not much more than that.

Tristan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I believe that Kenyon is known for its academics. When people hear that I go to kenyon they are impressed because they know t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I believe that Kenyon is known for its academics. When people hear that I go to kenyon they are impressed because they know the reputation that Kenyon has for being a very selective school.

Describe the students at your school.

I believe that the student body is very considerate of everyone. Everyone really just gets along and there is never really any conflict between groups of people.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

For some people, but most people are very in touch with what is going on.

What are the academics like at your school?

It is important to know that Kenyon is an intellectually challenging school. The teacher are very personable and love to get to know their students. The teachers also hold you to a high standard too. They know what you are capable of and they expect you to accomplish it.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There is a pretty big social life here at Kenyon. Everyone is entitled to do their own thing of corse. Some of my friends like to stay in and watch movies on the weekends and others like to go out and party. Everyone is very open and non-judgmental on whether you drink or not as well.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That we are very disconnected from events happening in the world.

Kelly
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Kenyon is TINY. I wanted a small school, and many liberal arts colleges (like Bates, Hamilton, Pamona) are about the same si...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Kenyon is TINY. I wanted a small school, and many liberal arts colleges (like Bates, Hamilton, Pamona) are about the same size. This is wonderful academically; classes are small and you are not a number on a roster but professors know you by name. Office hours are often and very helpful at such a small school. However, the social life becomes a little like High School. If something really terrible happens to you...everyone will know within 24 hours. That being said, it's great to walk into the dining hall and to know someone there!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Some. If you want a preppy school, Kenyon is probably not the place to go. Don't get me wrong, there are preppy students there (like myself), but you will get a lot of artsy people who are REALLY smart. There is an eclectic group of students at Kenyon.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Granola/hippies who are smart but like to sound smarter by philosophizing, but also participate in the Friday Drinking Club or smoke weed

Devin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Kenyon's awesome, great faculty. Really sleepy place, very chill and relaxed. Just a bit too unknown, which is a good thing. ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Kenyon's awesome, great faculty. Really sleepy place, very chill and relaxed. Just a bit too unknown, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, Kenyon's changing--the new administration is suspect, admission guidelines are getting more and more lax and some un-Kenyon types are changing the school to meet their needs.

Describe the students at your school.

Kenyon is great and as diverse as you'd expect. There are a few muscle-heads and jerks, but 95-98 percent of the people, including townspeople, staff, and students, are super kind and great. One rotten apple shouldn't spoil the whole batch, and it doesn't.

What are the academics like at your school?

Great academically, one of the best. English major may be TOO hard. Professors are great, take you out sometimes. Definitely liberal "learn for learning's sake" pedagogy.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Lots of things to do, sometimes it'll feel like there's nothing. Definitely a "rich get richer" thing where you'll only be popular if you're...popular. But great social life at Kenyon. Lots of readers and speakers and dances and such. Also good for the non-drinking crowd.

Bevan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Kenyon is that you can pick whatever it is you want to study--as long as it is offered--and you are enco...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Kenyon is that you can pick whatever it is you want to study--as long as it is offered--and you are encouraged to think things through yourself and internalize what you learn. I don't think most people think about that because it is more common in colleges here than elsewhere, but it is the main reason I am here. One experience I will always remember has been to be in a class during an exam, and to have the teacher walk out--without leaving a supervisor--and to see no one cheat. It would take me very long to explain and to make you understand why this means so much to me; but I love Kenyon for having accepted me and allowed me to learn in such a healthy and encouraging academic environment. Where my friends go to school back at home, students cheat when the professor is there--and sometimes he/she sees them and doesn't even do anything. Needless to say what would happen if there was an emergency and the teacher had to let everyone take the exam unsupervised.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I think mostly they are, although I don't think that automatically means that being financially comfortable and liberal are bad things. That is a completely different discussion.

What are the academics like at your school?

Also, I have to say that I have gotten along very well with all the professors I've had. I am also in two majors (PSCI and MLL) where the classes are usually smaller. However, I have found professors here to be exceptionally approachable and encouraging. And of course, it is always nice to meet people who actually care if you study or not (again home-trauma...) I love all of my PSCI classes. I feel very lucky that I could take political science at Kenyon. I had no idea of the fantastic professors when I applied, but I guess I lucked out. I am also pretty impressed with the number of intelligent conversations among students that I've heard. It is definitely not uncool here to be smart and to like your classes. From this point of view, I think Kenyon is a special place and is doing a good job of maintaining academic standards, as well as creating an environment where learning is important.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I would have much more fun here at night if the drinking and partying culture were different. I know I sound condescendent when I criticize this, but I miss living in a place where drinking is not the main thing that makes the difference between a "fun night" and a lame night. I have good friends here who don't need to drink to have a good time, but it bothers me that the majority of students here lean on alcohol like a crutch and are willing to drink in excess and endanger their lives. I like drinking, but it is not a necessity for me, and I where I come from getting wasted is not cool; what is cool is holding up to alcohol and not behaving like a crazy person.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Rich or at least upper-middle class, sheltered students; Liberal beehive :)

Phil
What is your overall opinion of this school?

To be honest, I love everything about Kenyon. my only advice is, if you don't like or want to try out a very small school wh...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

To be honest, I love everything about Kenyon. my only advice is, if you don't like or want to try out a very small school where there isn't whole lot to do (things that a city might offer for example) then don't come here. Though there is not a lot to do, it is relaxed and full of great and interesting people (students and faculty). My only other comment, which shouldn't really affect your decision to come or not, but is absolutely necessary to be made public, is that the food is AWEFUL, and even more awful when I know my parents are looking at a 42 thousand dollar check each year. We are in the process of building a new dinning hall that is supposed to be a huge improvement, but with the same food carrier, how can it be?

Describe the students at your school.

Mostly great people. Very diverse set of personalities for how small the school is, but not diverse racially.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Let me reiterate... the food is very very bad and hard getting away from, since there are very few (4) restaurants in the direct vicinity, and not many more in the town (Mt. Vernon) a little less than ten minutes away.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Answered in last response (sorry, didn't read this till after)

What are the academics like at your school?

Kenyon has great academics. One can find joke courses or less-than-par teachers who seem uninspired or of the same or a less level of education the the average student; but, if you care about what you study, you will rarely fail to find something great.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Frats aren't a necessity but do host most big parties/social events. There isn't mcuh to do but party, and the parties can get old after a while. In short, the social life is by no means extravagant.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Students are stoners (not really true, I mean people smoke pot at every college, as do I, but not unnaturally cluttered with "stoners"); great English program (not a lie; most teachers are beautiful people); now top 10 Most Expensive College in America (definitely not a lie)

Charlie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I tell someone that I go to Kenyon The response is either "What?" "Oh, I haven't heard of it," or "Ah, yes. As in the Ke...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I tell someone that I go to Kenyon The response is either "What?" "Oh, I haven't heard of it," or "Ah, yes. As in the Kenyon Review?"

What are the academics like at your school?

The English department, our largest and most well respected department, is highly overrated. The creative writing program is particularly bad. Visiting writer positions (visiting writers are the lifeblood of any small program) are handed out for political reasons. The staff poets are not especially accomplished, either as poets or as pedagogues. The students like to think of themselves as writers, but, on the whole, are not well read and not very talented.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Kenyon students are monied, thoughtful, intelligent and unattractive

Will
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Small--at some points too small, when one wants to avoid some people, but it also works to advantages with registration and c...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Small--at some points too small, when one wants to avoid some people, but it also works to advantages with registration and classes There are not enough restaurants around. Well, there are enough, but most students come from places with many more options. Also, there are practically no food options late in the night, which annoys me. I like the isolation because it's a new experience, though at times it gets to me. Students send dozens and dozens 'AllStu' emails that the whole campus can read each day, which often create controversies that students like to argue about. The new administration is not well-liked by the campus, in regards to social life.

Describe the students at your school.

Very diverse range of students (not so much racially, but based on personality). Every 'type' of student you can find--nerdy, sporty, social, shy. I feel comfortable wearing mostly anything to class. However, upperclassmen stress that the student body is changing, especially with my freshman class, to the type of typical college students everywhere in America, instead of the unique off-beat students Kenyon traditionally produced.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Mostly--most people know everyone else, and it's hard to escape anyone. And the students aren't (for the most part) the preppy jock-y types at a big school such as Boston College.

What are the academics like at your school?

The small school size allows for small class sizes. Professors know all their students' names (except for intro level lecture courses). Most students study a lot, and in general the academics are difficult, but manageable. Students are not very competitive. Also, it's fairly easy to get into the classes that one wants. The requirements are acceptable by my standards.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I'm in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. Fraternities are not the same as at big schools--they are very friendly and their parties are open to the campus. Students in dorms leave their doors open usually. Guest speakers often come. Sports are not very popular here, unless students actually play them. Well, I at least have never been to a sporting event yet this year, because I don't have much interest in watching Division III competition. Although, our swimming team is outstanding. Fraternities host most of the large campus parties, but they're always open. I personally drink most weekends, and most of my friends do. But there are movies and comedians and other activities on Fridays and Saturdays for those that don't.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

intellectual, non-competitive, accepting small school with a community feel

Sara
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Kenyon is a tiny school in a tiny town - it's too small and isolated for me, but that's obviously something of personal taste...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Kenyon is a tiny school in a tiny town - it's too small and isolated for me, but that's obviously something of personal taste, though that tends to be the feeling after four years. This lends itself to an excellent academic atmosphere in which students and professors interact outside of the classroom when they bump into each other getting coffee or at performance, etc. Unfortunately, this also creates a very intense social situation in which you live in closes quarters for four years just over 1000 people. The best thing about Kenyon is the small classes and the professors. I would change the Greek system, either by getting rid of it, or adding legitimate, NATIONAL sororities to give girls an option equivalent to the entrenched fraternity system, which controls much of the social life (basically, the school needs to make up its mind, since it is very Greek, but pretends not to be). When I tell people I go to Kenyon, they either have never heard of it (most often), or know someone who went there/have no strong reaction. Well, I spend just about all of my time on campus, like everyone, and on campus, I am outside when it's nice, in the coffee shop, bookstore, or study lounge working and socializing, or in my room trying to snag a bit of time alone. The town of Gambier and Kenyon really aren't separated; in fact, Kenyon's campus exists on either side of the main drag of town, so it's all basically the school. It has a couple of bars and a deli, coffee shop, etc, but nothing else. You NEED a car, even just to go to a movie or to buy toiletries. Kenyon's administration seems to be a bit out of touch with the reality of the school, maybe trying to make it into some "New Ivy" cookie-cutter school. The most recent campus controversy was over the proposed addition of swipe-card entrances to dorms, which was loudly and overwhelmingly opposed by students. The administration wanted to appease parents, and students want to keep Kenyon the small-town kind of community that it is. There is a certain kind of school pride - not in athletics, except for from athletes, but in its quirkiness. I'm not sure if Kenyon is all that different from a lot of small, rural liberal arts schools - they all have their traditions and quirks, but I will say that that experience is very singular and bonding. You could take two kids from the same class who are different and never meet, and in ten years, they would have very different memories.

Describe the students at your school.

Very white, mostly wealthy (either private schools or high-tax bracket public schools), and mostly moderate-liberal politically. People pretend to be more liberal than they are. Most people would feel accepted by some group or other since it's a diverse set of kids in terms of interests. One nice thing is that it's regionally diverse, though there are large pockets from the coasts. It's impossible to call it a preppy or a hippy school, but it is not a very attractive school, maybe because everyone meshes together and there is no "look". People don't dress up - the best way to stand out at a party is to wear what you would wear to go out at home, i.e. try hard to look like you don't try hard. I wish people just looked nice and didn't wear sweats all the time. Would it kill guys to wear tuxes to "formals"?

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Kenyon used to be more of a hippie school, but now that it's harder to get into, there are a lot more emo over-achievers that suck. They don't contribute to the social scene.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Well, it's not the most party-hardy school, so yes, that's accurate.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at Kenyon are close-knit and very important. Everyone at Kenyon has some kind of academic pursuit that they care about, and you do find kids having conversations about classes at dinner tables or even parties - discussing the Civil Rights Movement or the merits of a stream-of-conscience narrative over beers. Professors are laid-back and honestly care about getting to know students, especially in upper-level classes. I've found them all to be very helpful during office hours, even if you're a non-major, if you put work and time into the class. Participation if very common, but the academic atmosphere is friendly. My favorite classes have been in the history department - Roman history and African American history, and also Creative Fiction (short story writing). The education is the part of Kenyon that I value the most (and the reason I haven't transferred) - it's a true, classic liberal arts education that is not pre-professionally geared, but for the sake of learning itself. That said, I would NOT recommend the freshmen IPHS class.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Social life at Kenyon sucks. It's intense, cliquey, catty, and isolated - worse than high school or middle school. Kids are very active and friendly, but the party scene is boring after two months because of lack of options. There are weekends when there nothing going on, which I thought was the opposite of college, though you could drink seven nights a week. Average is going out three. I met all of my closest friends freshman year through parties, hanging out, dorms, etc. You just have to get out of town at least once a semester, and if you don't have a car, I feel bad for you. Living in Amish country is quaint, but after a while, you want more. Looking at percentages is deceiving: fraternities are very important on campus, but there is no real alternative for girls (a few local sororities without much presence due to housing inequivalent to the boys'). For a relatively Greek school, the party scene leaves a lot to be desired, and everyone is thankful when they are 21 and can finally go to the two bars in town. Dating scene? Dating doesn't exist at colleges where everyone already knows each other, unless you're already sleeping together. If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, I'm probably walking home from the library or hanging out in someone's room watching tv or a movie or talking. I'm probably asleep. I'm not sure what events there are on Saturday nights for non-partiers (I DO have friends that go out and don't drink), but there are some groups that have like pajama party movie-viewing things. I've never been. Outside of the party scene, lectures and a capela concerts are well attended. Sports games are sometimes - depends on the weather and the team (boys soccer does alright, no one watches football). Apparently we have a great swim team? Some fun traditions are the Halloween party, Philander's Phling (all school semi-formal), and Summer Sendoff (big all-day party and concert in the Spring). I go off campus around once a week to eat dinner, shop, run errands, see a movie, and try to keep my sanity.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

I am not sure - one of the interesting things about Kenyon is that it's got a really mixed student body in terms of traditional stereotypes. It has its fair share of jocks, preppy kids, hippies, emo kids, etc. It's probably not considered a fun school.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 1,708
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $51,200
  • Acceptance rate
  • 27%

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