Kenyon College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Kenyon is a chiller, more supportive, less boozing (though for those who like to drink, that is also totally chill, but it is not a must or you are an outcast loser like my friends at Colgate tell me it is on their campus), less student competitive environment option from what I gather not only from my numerous visits to and from what my friends who are now at Hamilton or Bates say.
KENYON gives better merit than Bates; Ham and Vassar don't give any merit.
Aside from the merit, KENYON'S academics are excellent, the students are engaged, cariing, and kind; definitely opened minded and accepting, but not Vassar/Wesleyan in your face (not that that is negative, just an Fyi).
The faculty is excellent, supportive, and unassuming.
The campusbis drop dead gorgeous and relaxing- Hogwarts. The surrounding "town" is not a town; it is a village, existing solely for the KENYON community.
But Columbus is an hour away. It totally rocks- home of one of the largest state university in the US -OSU. Many students @KENUON have cars so you can get to Columbus pretty easily.I an east coast person so was shocked at how much Columbus has going on--OSU, tons of shops and restaurants; music, youth, gay, and cosplay scenes, as well as museums, parks etc.
First, try to get some basic parameters of what you are looking for while you read this review, because Kenyon College. will resonate with you or it won't.
I choose Kenyon over Vassar, Hamilton, Bates, and Grinnell (as well as Whitman, Pitzer, and Denison as backups) and could not be happier. Kenyon College is the perfect gem. To understand why I say that let me put my review into context.
I knew I wanted a top small liberal arts college with excellent academics, accessible faculty, an open collaborative accepting community, good resources, a good-strong alumni network, strong PHD placement, good internships, in a nice chill, but intellectual environment, with students who are real and decent people, with a minimal number of histrionic angst ridden nearly 20 something's and with a diverse thinking, but left leaning student body where the prep contingent would be toned downed, maybe vineyard vines with jeans ( being a prep myself), with guys who could rock beards if they want and anyone could wear shorts or sweats in the winter, no one had to dress up just to go to class and campus life was inclusive. I wanted to be challenged (but not suicidal like some of my friends at other LACS and Ivies), stretch and reach as far as possible with the support of the college community, but not be broken.
I didn't care if the LAC was rural or city , although a campus feel was important to me. I was looking mostly in the northeast and Midwest, a little on the west coast and the northwest. like the seasons. So with that in mind, perhaps this review will be a good College Confidential, Unigo, Cappex, etc. review rolled into one. Good luck.
The reasons I choose Kenyon are:
? excellent academics
? excellent accessible supportive faculty
? chill environment
? collaborative community
? beautiful campus (Hogwarts eat your heart out, Kenyon is the quintessential college setting it could be right out a movie set, just walking down Middle path makes , which bisects the small town that supports the college, makes me feel smart (lol))
? friendly and accepting students and faculty
? an administration that cares is not the bane of your life
? caring not invasive campus security
? Liberal, but with a nice sprinkling of different points of views
? Great merit/grants (even if you are not poor) up to $45,000- they fight hard to get the northeast leaning kids to look at Ohio
? Personal attention
? Ohio is beautiful and friendly and s nice place to be to focus on your studies (with international and city options available )
? safe, no worries
Albeit, Kenyon ( as with my other LAC choices) may not be well known outside academia or outside those who know top LACS, it is a gem of a school.
What differentied Kenyon from the other schools for me were:
I loved the school, not too much the lac/frat bro douche frat science. For me, that scene really put an entitled douche feel to an excellent liberal arts school. Kenyon has frats, but they are more chill and less jockey entitled and closed
My top toss up with Kenyon. Love love
Bates. Did not like Lewiston and the drinking was way extreme for me (I do like to party in moderation and will join a frat @ Kenyon, but this seemed a bit for me. My friend who went there before me transferred to Barnard because of the drunk ice hockey scene- yeah the ice hockey dudes- if you are into take then this is cool for you.). Gambier has very little, it is a small sweet charming, and, yes, boring town that grew up to serve Kenyon. Amish sell their wares on Middle Path and the US PO is the college PO, but I always feel welcomed, safe and the town is a gown town and it is beautiful. Lewiston is also boring not too safe (at least from the folks I spoke to) , big pretty not charming and not gown. Too bad Bates was not where Bowdoin is.
Great rep and academics. Great profs. Liked the campus, although I thought it was run down and not kept up. No interviews and no personal attention. Friend who goes there likes it very much, but thinks Poughkeepsie sucks and does not get into NYC much. Does find a bit more than average "angst ridden 20 something poser. Nice house system. For me, not enough philosophical or political diversity. Given ranking and draw backs (plus anyone over 50 still thinks it's a seven sister's college) it was not worth $78,000 for me. Not merit. Just need based.
Ok, up front, my mom wanted me to go here. Excellent sciences, great profs, nice students, fairly international student body, excellent academics, known for their total acceptance of any thing and radical, top 20, endowment over a billion. Make any major you want. Money for whatever. But, this a school you have to visit I just could not do Iowa. If you can, Grinnell is awesome and they do give great scholarships. The students I met were not as happy as you would think so that and Iowa turned me off despite the scholarship and my mom.
So Kenyon was just the perfection of Bates, Hamilton, Grinnell and Vassar rolled into one.
? While professors are fantastic, at many points throughout the year I was wondering exactly how the material covered compared to other institutions. I was challenged much more in high school (overloaded schedule) and expected the same type of pace in college based on everyone constantly referring to it as so intense. This was not the case. In fact, there was comparatively much less academic stress and so little to be done outside of class that I went into mental shock (yes, literally) and found it hard to concentrate on anything, fearing that I had gone down a completely wrong path. Many people are absorbed in academics but, though I hate to sound haughty, don't have a lot to show for it, yet they hold themselves in very high esteem (and constantly talk about their past achievements, I don't know where this came from, honestly). This isn't to say there aren't mature, humble, and brilliant people?there are, but overall, this is the feeling I was left with.
? Please look at a map before choosing Kenyon. Gambier, OH is 15 minutes from Mt. Vernon, which is in turn 45-50 minutes from Columbus. This is completely rural. Unless you or your friend have a car, there is sometimes an hourly bus to Mt. Vernon, but otherwise you are stuck. As a result of such isolation, there are virtually NO attractions or events apart from sports, trail-running, or the occasional Amish sale. Mt Vernon is not really an escape either, though it has a few stores. You need to devote an entire weekend afternoon to restocking supplies at THE Walmart unless you want to pay exorbitant prices at the on-campus grocer. I had initially thought of college as being a large, fast-paced, cosmopolitan experience. 1800 sounds like a larger number than it truly is. If you choose Kenyon, you need to be comfortable with an isolated, bookish, subdued atmosphere.
? Diversity among students (ethnically) is minimal. There is a small community of Chinese students; there is also only one black male in the entire freshman class. Though a small portion of the class comes from disadvantaged backgrounds, by and large most students are from privileged white families (myself admittedly included), as reflected in the steep tuition. Good scores will get you a small scholarship, but this only brings it down to the price of any other private four-year institution. If it helps though, textbooks were surprisingly inexpensive.When first starting college, I was under the impression that, as my parents especially wanted to make clear to me, most any place will give you a "wonderful" education. I don't feel this to be untrue, but will say that some places are more competitive for fair reasons and renowned for reasons as well. Kenyon is highly regarded as a literature school and has its strengths in English, language, sociology, and other humanities. That's not to say one cannot be a pre-med at Kenyon, there's plenty. But whether they truly have as much within their immediate reach as students at medium or larger universities, I'm not as sure. This is what all has motivated me to transfer; there are many people who are perfectly happy with the education and experience that they've had at Kenyon, but I'm not as strong a proponent.
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