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What Does it Cost to Attend Kenyon College?

Deciding which college to attend comes with plethora of factors to consider, and for many families, college prices doesn’t make this decision any easier. Every year, tuition at four-year institutions rises. College tuition has been increasing almost six percent above the rate of inflation, and is expected to continue doing so. Meanwhile, a college degree is becoming the baseline expectation in the increasingly-competitive job market, and the demand for a college education is greater now than it was one generation ago. 


With such high rates of tuition, financial aid becomes more and more important. In the 2015-2016 academic year, 85 percent of undergraduate students received financial aid. Financial aid itself is a multi-faceted creature, and can be a headache to navigate.


Kenyon College, home to the prestigious Kenyon Review and a dining hall that bears striking resemblance to Hogwarts’ Great Hall, is a private institution in Gambier, Ohio. The high sticker price, however, is not necessarily easy on the wallet. We’ve compiled this post that covers exactly how you can navigate tuition prices, as well as the different options you have for financing your student’s degree at Kenyon College.


Costs of Attendance, and Why They’re Highly Variable


If your student is interested, or already admitted—congratulations!—to Kenyon, you’ve probably already visited the college’s Costs and Financial aid page. That’s a good place to start, and will give you a general idea of how much four years at Kenyon might cost. However, it can also be misleading. Costs of attendance for colleges are highly variable. The numbers that you see there are what we call the list prices, and few families actually pay that price. A better number to look for is the net cost, which refers to what families actually pay out of their pockets, after factors like financial aid have been applied.


Generally, the elements that will reduce net cost come down to three parts:

  1. Government aid at the federal, state, or local levels
  2. Institutional financial aid
  3. Merit scholarships


We’ll look at each of these in detail in this post.


Kenyon College’s List Price


Since all financial aid is subtracted from the list price to give the net cost, the list price is where to start in estimating a student’s cost of attendance. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Kenyon College’s list price was $66,670 for both in-state and out-of-state students, since it’s a private institution. Remember that most families don’t pay this price. Who are those who do pay it? In general, it’s the families whose annual household income is greater than $175,000. Even for these families, if the student receives merit aid from the institution, they may not even pay the list price. It’s worthwhile to note that not all colleges offer merit aid, but Kenyon College does.


Costs of Attendance with Financial Aid at Kenyon


Approximately 47% of Kenyon students receive need-based aid, and 22% receive scholarships. For the 2016-2017 school year, the average net cost of attendance with need-based financial aid only was $57,328 for both in-state and out-of-state students.


Cost Based on Family Income at Kenyon College


The greater your family’s financial need, the more need-based aid a student will qualify for. Here are the average net amounts that families with different incomes pay for Kenyon College.


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $11,730*
$30,001-$48,000 $9,896
$48,001-$75,000 $15,911
$75,001-$110,000 $23,146
Over $110,000 $41,962


*These numbers do not reflect any Pell Grants that families may receive. Families with an income of $0-30k often receive Federal Pell Grants, which reduce the amount of financial aid that individual institutions need to award. This is why there is a higher tuition rate for families with $0-30k vs. those with $30k-48k.


Merit Aid Net Price and Net Price for Students Without Need at Kenyon


What we’ve been talking about so far has been need-based financial aid. In contrast, merit aid is awards granted based on what the college deems to be exceptional performance and potential, usually academic performance, and school or community involvement. It often comes in the form of a scholarship.


Merit aid at Kenyon College is relatively generous. Out of a pool of 1000 schools CollegeVine analyzed for merit aid generosity, Kenyon ranks 611th. At Kenyon, 23.1% of students without financial need receive merit aid, with the average amount coming to $3,305 in 2016. The average net price for a student who didn’t qualify for financial aid was $63,365.


Student Loans and Debts at Kenyon


Often, students still need help financing their college education even with institutional aid and scholarships. This is where student loans come in. Unlike scholarships or grants, loans need to be repaid, often with interest. At Kenyon College, 69% of students take out federal loans, with an average amount of $3,046 per student across their college career.


Student Outcomes at Kenyon


Investing in college is a big decision, especially if your student has loans to pay back, so it’s useful to have an idea of how graduates of a particular school are doing down the line. Kenyon College has a 6-year graduation rate of 90%, which is impressively high when stacked against the 66% average for private nonprofit institutions.


The average salary of a Kenyon alum ten years after graduation is $48,700.  


Local Area Cost Considerations


Besides the main expenses of tuition and room and board, there are usually other costs to account for when estimating college spending, even if the student is living on-campus for all years of attendance. Gambier, Ohio has an overall cost of living index of 95.6, which means it’s about 4 percent more affordable to live in Gambier than in the rest of the U.S. in general.


If the idea of looking for housing for college gives you a headache, Kenyon College’s housing situation is just right for you. Kenyon is a fully residential college. Students live on-campus for all four years, and have a variety to choose from, from program houses to themed houses.


There aren’t many off-campus job opportunities for Kenyon students, since the college itself is the main attraction of the village of Gambier. However, the on-campus employment scene is rich; students can choose from over 1100 job positions filled each year on the Kenyon campus. The minimum wage for on-campus jobs, determined by the minimum state wage, is $8.55 per hour as of 2019.  


Other Ways to Save on College  


We’ve covered the main ways in which students can lower than costs of attendance, but the ways to save don’t end at financial aid and loans.


There are many merit-based private scholarships available, especially if your student is enrolling in an institution in their home state. The Austin E. Knowlton Scholarship supports a Kenyon student from Ohio with up to $18,000 over four years.


One of the most prestigious national scholarships is the National Merit program. Students who take the PSAT are automatically entered for qualification, and the program awards $2,500 to finalists. Take a look at our guide to the National Merit Scholarship program.


You can learn more about scholarships on our following posts:


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
Kimberly graduated from Smith College with a degree in English Literature. This year, she has been based in Beijing, China, where she works in the education field and rescues dogs in her free time. She will be starting her masters at Columbia University in the fall.