Grinnell v Kenyon

<p>Grinnell v Kenyon
Here's the situation D is accepted at both and has visited both. Along with numerous others but these are the 2 left standing. She is a good, not great student. Top 10%, lots of AP's 1400 SAT. Not sure of major but looking at pol sci/bio, maybe a double major.</p>

Grinnell merit aid plus savings no debt
Kenyon need based aid end result around 15k debt</p>

Kenyon lots of people like me
Grinnell will challenge me more, might be who I will want to be</p>

Kenyon good, interesting classes people work reasonably hard
Grinnell people work harder, classes will be more challenging</p>

<p>Any insights?</p>

<p>Someone posted rankings by major of different schools form USNWR (I think), but I couldn't find a way to sort for that info except at a grad school level. My gut says these are similar schools and no debt is better than debt.</p>

<p>Is there anything specific she prefers/dislikes about each of the schools? Since Grinnell has the financial advantage, I am curious what it is about Kenyon that is making her hesitate to accept Grinnell's offer?</p>

<p>Kenyon=more people like me</p>

<p>Academically and socially less challenging/threatening, I think.</p>

<p>Her brother is at Grinnell but they get along very well and as far as I can tell it's not an issue.</p>

<p>Kenyon is pretty.</p>

<p>Does your D think the students at Grinnell are unlike her? i.e., I won't fit in?</p>

<p>Not completely. She thinks there are alot of different kinds of kids at Grinnell, her host was quite preppy. At Grinnell there will be people that are easily her friends and others that she may grow towards. (I am interpreting her comments here) At Kenyon there were more people that she felt she could easily be friends with now. I think part of the struggle is who I am now v who I will become while at college.</p>

<p>I liked Kenyon and my S really liked it. We both liked the students there too. We haven't visited Grinnell, but I want to do that based on everything I've read about it. Despite that, If my son is lucky enough to have the same dilemma as your daughter, I think I would lean toward your "gut" feeling, and go with Grinnell. $15,000 is still a lot of money, and no debt is better. She will get a great education at both schools, so she can't make a wrong decision. </p>

<p>She could also follow Mini's suggestions. Choose the school that costs less and use part of the savings for study abroad, summer educational opportunities etc. She could end up with $8000 in debt and a wealth of additional experiences.</p>

<p>When in doubt, follow the money. Grinnell has the largest per student endowments in the country and the largest of any LAC. When trying to decide between two attractive options, that's a pretty good reason to consider.</p>

<p>For example, the endowment money lets them be more aggressive with discount pricing, resulting in savings of $15 k.</p>

<p>These schools are similar enough that it seems like following the merit aid is the smartest plan.</p>

<p>LAC's like these are already so nurturing and cosy that avoiding one because it might be more socially and academically challenging doesn't make sense to me. At the end of a year or two of seeing the same faces, she may be very glad to have a little extra challenge.</p>

<p>"At the end of a year or two of seeing the same faces, she may be very glad to have a little extra challenge"</p>

<p>Hanna scores with a hard right jab.</p>

<p>Am I the only one on this board who thinks that by every important measure
-- academic reputation, quality of the student body, and price -- Grinnell is the hands down choice here? In an earlier thread I asked for views on whether one would go with Carleton with no money versus Grinnell with money, and I thought that was a close question, but it seems to me that this one is not.</p>

<p>If she is waffling, it may be that she just likes Kenyon better, but cannot come up with a "reason." In reading this over, it looks like Grinnell wins on everything except the "lots of people like me" and "campus is pretty." Guess your D needs to figure out exactly how much she values those qualities.</p>

<p>The "lots of people like me" can be interpreted in different ways. Kenyon has indeed gotten a national rep particularly at the private schools. I am seeing a large number of kids who have that college on their lists; less so Grinnell which is making huge inroads with well targeted merit awards. Sometimes when kids say that there are lots of people like them on campus, what they mean is that they feel comfortable in that environment whereas the other school is going to be a crapshoot for fit. All things equal, I would go with Kenyon, with the money figuring into the equation Grinnell.</p>

<p>Jamimom, I beg to differ. We are talking about a family whose finances are such that the student qualifies for need-based aid. Why go into more debt so the student can attend a clearly "lesser" school. </p>

<p>I assume we're talking about the student considering going into debt for Kenyon and not the parent?</p>

<p>It could be "the brother thing", too.</p>

<p>As a parent, I would want some answers from Kenyon on the drinking culture, following the apparent alcohol poisoning death earlier this month. The freshman had been involved in fraternity pledging activities the night before his body was found in an open field near campus.</p>

<p>I haven't looked at either school, but questions I would be asking would be percentage in fraternities, binge drinking rate, etc. </p>

<p>I've seen a fairly low binge drinking rate published for Grinnell. Kenyon may well be low, too. I have no idea. But, a fraternity pledge alcohol poisoning fatality is a vigorous waving red flag, in my book. Others take the attitude that kids will be kids and I respect that. I'm just saying, I'd be looking into the social scene. It could well be that Kenyon is a low binge drinking school and still had an alcohol poisoning death. It's a risk at every school.</p>

<p>Grinnell is a little higher (~50 points) in its average SAT and percent of students in top 10% of graduating class, but not that dramatically that there wouldn't be a lot of overlap between the students at the two schools. I don't think Kenyon is that much of a "lesser" school to Grinnell that one would automatically pick Grinnell over Kenyon (finances aside). The OPs daughter is probably more familiar with Grinnell than the typical applicant, as her brother is a student there, so she has a good basis to choose which school is best for her.</p>

<p>I may not have made myself clear. If the money were not an issue, I would tip, in this case towards Kenyon. Withe $60K at stake, which appears to be the issue, I would go towards Grinnell. I don't think K is worth $60K more than G. But there is a more comfortable, at home feeling at Kenyon and it has more name recognition among those who are in the more competitive schools. Also in hiring on the east coast, I have seen a number of Kenyon grads, many more than any other non east coast LAC. My husband works in investment banking and I sneak a peek at the lists, and most of the hirees are "prep school" type young people. Kenyon 's name shows up much more than it should, given the location and size of the school. </p>

<p>I know we discussed Carleton vs Grinnell when you were deciding between the two for your student. I said the name recognition for Grinnell was higher in our midatlantic area, and also in the NYC investment sheets. Part of the reason for this, I was told by a Carleton grad is that alot of Carleton kids are from Minnesota as it is considered (rightfully) The state's premier school and it does compete directly with the excellent state flagship school. Grinnell does not feed off of Iowans as much, and does have a national presence--only 30% from Iowa, I believe which is amazing to me since Iowa is not a destination on most kids' top choices. The generous merit aid and being featured in several national articles has done a lot for Grinnell. I do expect it will have the same name recognition as Kenyon soon. I also looked in our prep school's college book and found the choices going from Kenyon, to Carleton with Grinnell in the middle. A lot of kids applying to Kenyon. Our local highschool, however, has a few Grinnell kids applying with no one from Kenyon. It looks like the name is making inroads quickly here.</p>

<p>I would be hard pressed to call Grinnell a lesser school than Kenyon. It is more the environment, the familiarity and the name recogniton that make it seem like home to so many kids.</p>

<p>Jamimon, I'll confess that your post confuses me. It's a given that Kenyon has more prep school types -- nearly half their student body went to private high schools, as opposed to only a quarter of Grinnell's students -- and Grinnell has many more students on need-based financial aid. But the fact that Kenyon is more "well known" among "preppies" (and I don't mean to be pejorative) hardly means it has an equal or better academic reputation than Grinnell, on the East Coast or anywhere else. It simply means that it attacts a certain type of student.</p>

<p>Anecdotal evidence such as where your husband's investment banking firm is hiring from or where your prep school children's classmates are looking at paints a far less complete picture than the more scientific survey evidence that we have, such as U.S. News and the Wall Street Journal, both of which rank Grinnell considerably higher than Kenyon on academic reputation. Grinnell also has a more academically qualified and diverse student body (it's closer to 20 percent from Iowa than the 30 percent that you suggested) as well as an endowment that's seven times larger. These are all indicia of a stronger school.</p>

It's a given that Kenyon has more prep school types -- nearly half their student body went to private high schools


<p>If that's true, then I would wave two big red flags and a sound a siren on looking at the binge drinking fraternity pledge alcohol poisoning situation. From the stats, Kenyon is very wealthy, very white, and has a high percentage of frat membership compared to Grinnell. These are all things that correlate with a heavy drinking culture.</p>

<p>"Am I the only one on this board who thinks that by every important measure -- academic reputation, quality of the student body, and price -- Grinnell is the hands down choice here?"</p>

<p>You are not. I think by most important measures regarding quality of life, campus resources, and actual academic "value-added" to students who attend, I think Grinnell can compete quite comfortably (and in some areas quite favorably) with AWS.</p>

<p>But then I honestly know less about Kenyon.</p>

<p>I am posting the climate in the areas I know. Having lived in Ohio, Pa, NY, MD and a few other places in the last few years, and with kids going to private schools, I do get to see a lot of college lists. For whatever reason, Kenyon shows up a lot more than Grinnell. Grinnell more than Carleton. It is another piece of info. Anyone can look up the USN and WSJ numbers, and I am well aware of them, but in this case I see a lot of info over 10 years that contradicts these rankings which I am sharing. Also I am privy to some HR info due to my H's job which has thousands of listings of where kids go to college who get some of consulting firms and investment banking firms' jobs. I am not just stating anecdotal pieces here. Kenyon clearly stands out. They have a tremendous alumni network that is well known in HR circles. And actually, I am looking at some recent Grinnell data that shows that the student body is 15% from Iowa, which does make it incredibly diverse. The schools are similar in size, but Kenyon attracts more apps, making it more selective, I think, because of the name recognition factor. </p>

<p>I've visited both schools, as S was heavily recruited by both several years ago. Definitely splitting hairs as to which one is "better" but I was certainly willing to pay the extra for Kenyon if that was where S wanted to go. Like the OP's D, he liked the kids at Kenyon better. He felt more at home there. I would have to say the name recognition value for Kenyon was higher as well. I would not hesitate to congratulate anyone who picks either school and it comes down to personal choice as to which one is "better". Though I do look at the ratings on academic rep that are given out, I don't go by those numbers other than to get a quick read and some idea where the school stands. I am not so sure how "scientific" those measures are. I also am looking more at the school's performance in placing kids in highly selective job positions back east, and Kenyon is a standout among small midwest schools to a point where I don't want to ignore this accomplishment. </p>

<p>Again, it comes down to my personal opinion. For whatever it is worth. There are several schools that I feel "beat" their rankings for a number of reasons, due to my experiences with the school, and these schools happen to fall into that category. So I am communication my personal take on them. By no means should it carry much weight other than pointing out some things about the schools bringing out the question as to why prep schools like Kenyon so much.</p>