Kenyon College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Pretty much spot on.


I found a lot of the students to be "cerebral", and there certainly are the hipsters and outdoorsy type, there's also many other types of kids that roam the campus.


Some yes, others not so much. Sure, there are a lot of wealthy students at Kenyon, it goes with the territory. But I imagine most people there have the mental capacity to thrive, although there are a lot of less driven people to counter those who are engaged. I have seen some preppy kids, but I have also met a lot of students who, like me, are there with substantial financial aid of scholarships, who worked their little bums off to get there, and appreciate the sacrifices their families may have made for that to happen. People do drink, and yes they drink a lot, but show me a college campus that doesn't have that and I will eat my hat. As for the abundance of drugs, I have heard cocaine has it's presence, but I have never encountered it in any way shape or form. I guess if someone were to want to enter that circle, they would have to know where to look, because from where i stand, it is well hidden. As for diversity, that is improving a lot. Kenyon is working to get more international students (like myself, I am from New Zealand), and succeeding at that. Yes one will see a vast array of different white US citizens strolling the grounds, but they come from all states and several walks of life. People just need to celebrate difference rather than being the sheep that follow the shepherd.


there really are none, and for the very few that do exist, there are too many exceptions for the stereotypes to hold much water.


Most of the stereotypes are accurate. I would say that the girls are better than the stereotype and that people are quirky, there are just a few quirky ones and because it is a small school you can see them alot which could give the impression of many quirky people.


To a certain extent, that is true. We did make national news for waiting for hours to vote in the last election. Kenyon Students are very good at getting excited about issues and responding. However, after the immediate follow through they lose interest. They may still lament the issue, but they do not try to get involved to fix it. This years student government elections all went uncontested except for the position of President. That being said, the individuals who did get involved are some of the most hardworking and caring people that I know.


I would say that Kenyon students do tend to be on the more liberal side of things. However, there is a strong community of conservatives and conservative professors who are not afraid to speak their mind. Although the vast majority of students are quite well off, there isn't a lot of opportunity to spend tons of money while on campus. You will get your fair share of snobby intellectuals, but they aren't the only kids around. There is a lot of drinking on campus, but it usually occurs after or alongside many other activities like plays, sports games, or concerts.


I think the stereotype among alum of the "kenyon of yore" is still accurate about the strengths of today's student body mix - a lot of passionate, sometimes quirky, hardworking, genuine and fun people. I think the strength of Kenyon's "diversity" is certainly not an ethnic or socio-economic one - white upper-class is a demographic you certainly can't avoid here - but an incredible diversity of interest, personality type, and life-plan, if you will. That being said, there are jerks, but I don't mind 'em


In my experience, the contrast and occasional tensions between the community of Mt. Vernon and Kenyon students throw the rich-kid stereotype into its highest relief. Some kids are pretty classist towards "townies," which has personally been my biggest beef with my fellow students.


Sure. To a certain extent.


Yes. The Kenyon experience as a freshman is amazing. It's basically the exact opposite of what the classic freshman experience is portrayed as being. You get here, everyone is so nice to you, and people want to hang out with you BECAUSE you're a freshman. You're invited to every party on campus, and people love it when freshmen get involved in things. It really is amazing.




This stereotype is partially true. We have a group of students who party a lot but we also have a group of students who don't.


Yes to a certian extent. There are definitly a ton of English majos, but I know a whole host of people that want nothing to do with English, and I would encourage anyone to consider Kenyon, not just kids intersted in the humanities. Kenyon defintily has its own little party scene, and frats are definitly a part of campus life, but I see that as a benefit -- everyone is very welcoming and friendly, and yes, people like their Keystone here. To say otherwise would simply be a lie. This odd little party scene is probably the result of the fact that we are in a pretty rural area, but when I initially heard "rural", I, being the uninformed city kid, thought that I would not see any people besides students. So not true. Mount Vernon has upwards of 30,000 residents, so while we are in an agricultural area, we are not deserted. The cornfields are here and fun to run around in, and the Amish sell baskets, jams, adn baked goods on weekends! i once made the mistake of lodging a dead piece of corn at a friend....i have very bad aim...i imagine it hurt alot, but was priceless!




About 70 percent of Kenyon students are on some kind of financial aid, but I find that many of these students still come from privileged, if not financially well-off, backgrounds. For example, they went to exclusive private schools but on full scholarships. Kenyon definitely used to be full of unique and alternative types, but is no longer. Most people who come here are pretty mainstream, and everyone carries cell phones everywhere. It is still taboo to talk on one on Middle Path, but some people do so subtly and the taboo is definitely disappearing.


Stereotypes normally stem from some grain of truth--sure, Kenyon can be really weird. But not in the way you think we are. We may live in the middle of nowhere, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to have a good time. And not just partying it up, spreading debauchery and mayhem whenever it gets dark and we leave the library. There are campus wide events such as barbecues and picnics, there's an abundance of groups that have activities and get togethers, and the student social board always has something going on. We may not be surrounded by skyscrapers, malls and traffic but Kenyon has a camaraderie and a feeling of family that many larger colleges miss. We may be a bunch of hippies and prepsters, but this is a place where the hippies and hipsters all get along.


Yes, Kenyon has an amazing English program, but as a math major I have never, nor plan to, take an English course. The math and science here are just as strong, but are smaller programs with fewer majors. Having the smaller program gives each major more individual attention and more research opportunities.


Kenyon is in the middle of nowhere, but it's certainly not true that there is nothing to do. And there is a great sense of community--but the Kenyon students themselves are a much more diverse group of people (in terms of beliefs, politics, backgrounds, and interests) than is often thought to be the case.


No, there are definitely people with a lot of money, but there are also people (like myself) who come from average, middle-class families. The cool thing is that people really don't seem to be divided by socioeconomic status. I think the fact that we all worked hard to get here makes people more likely to treat others as equals. And Kenyon actually gave me more financial aid than any other college! Making the cost doable.


unfortunately, they are


I'd say!


No, but there are a lot of English majors. The Political Science Department is also excellent, maybe better than English.


There are some people like that here, but there are people like that pretty much anywhere.


While the English department is great, the "writers' school" label sells the other departments short. The Physics department is top notch with a spectacular faculty, facility, and student:teacher ratio (there are typically only 6-10 majors each year, and there are 8 professors on the faculty). That's the only department of which I have solid first-hand knowledge, but my friends (only on of them is an English major) are all quite satisfied with their departments and teachers. The student body isn't very racially diverse, but there are all types of people here, so in terms of interests and lifestyles, yes, Kenyon is kind of diverse, but yes, it is also quite white.


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


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.


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


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.


Not really


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.


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


yes, yes, no, yes


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.


Hell no.


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


The stereotype about the college itself is far from the truth. Once, I was speaking with a former admissions officer from Yale and I told him that I was attending Kenyon. His response was that Kenyon is the only legitimate college in the Mid-West. While his comment was strong, generally you will find that the quality of the academics at Kenyon are highly regarded. And the character of the campus? Let's just say that we are referred to as either the "Princeton of the West," the "Williams of the West," or the "Amherst of the West" (or "'insert top-notch east coast school here' of the West).


Yes, they are.


All of it is pretty accurate. There are Republicans, but even they are socially liberal for the most part. Most people are from wealthier families, but some aren't, and it isn't money we're snobby about, but education. We value the education we're getting, and we're hear to learn. It's more intellectual snobbery against people who don't want to make the most of what they've got. That being said, we're not a really competitive group of people. We want to succeed, but we also want everyone else to as well. We're a really supportive group of people. Awkward and smart are pretty accurate.


Yes, mostly. It's hard to define Kenyon students. Most of us are too apathetic to really get involved in politics or student environmental groups or the like, so we're not like Oberlin students. Our main form of activism is through allstu emails. Now that it's become a better-known school, the students have to be pretty smart to get in, but some have an edge in admissions because they're "legacies." There's a lot of drinking, but we work really hard, too. Most of us are individuals. We get along pretty well as a student body, despite our differences.


The majority of students at Kenyon are very nerdy. The closest you get to a popular kid in high school is most often found on a sports team. The campus is also very liberal, and most students are very active in current political conflicts.


TOTALLY FALSE. Well, not completely. Let me just preface this by saying that I'm an Ohio native, so I get defensive about this one. But in all honesty, you forget about the isolation. There's very little cabin fever. When academics aren't keeping you busy, all you want to do is relax and take a break from the stresses of school. As long as you've got great people with whom to hang out and blow off steam, you don't really need to go places or do things in order to have fun. That's what we call the Kenyon bubble. It's both your best friend and your worst enemy. I'll come home for break and realize that I've never heard of any of the movies that are out or the songs that are on the radio. That can be startling.


The hippie stereotype might still be there, but the hippies aren't.


While there certainly are students from privileged backgrounds, saying the student body is entirely composed of this demographic couldn't be farther from the truth.


All stereo-types are based on a degree of truth; that said, only the latter seems true of almost all Kenyon students. The thing I love about Kenyon is that for such a small school, it actually has a good mix of students - we have an active Republican and Democratic and (slight active :) ) Liberterian society; we have religious groups from Western and Eastern faiths; there is an active sporting and fine arts scene. You get your rich kids who don't know what it is to not be able to afford everything, but you've got kids like me who couldn't go to Kenyon if not for government funding. And somehow we all co-habitate and find our common ground.


I've encountered a huge quantity of selfishness and and thoughtlessness beneath the accurate exterior.


I'd say all these statements are accurate, and by and large the current student body hopes to maintain that stereotype as part of Kenyon's charm. We're all hard working and there are many amazingly smart and talented people, but we also goof around, have geeky, funky, or weird interests, and are basically fun people.


As with all stereotypes, the ones about Kenyon are based on a grain of truth; but, for the most part, these cursory glimpses barely manage to skim the surface of what's actually there. While its location is very rural, Kenyon's atmosphere is more reminiscent of a liberal-thinking utopia than a backwards small town. Professors, students, staff, and townsfolk all intermingle on a daily basis, forming a solid sense of community that I haven't found anywhere outside of Gambier. As for the students, intelligence reins and you find that even the most unlikely looking person is well-informed and able to engage you in a debate ranging from politics to classical literature to sports. Everyone at Kenyon is there because they chose to be there, because it drew them in, so it's rare to find someone that doesn't appreciate what they have at Kenyon.


To some degree, yes. But Kenyon is what you make of it and so many people do not fit any of these stereotypes.


Few students would match the aforementioned persona, but nearly every student would overlap in several major ways.