Kenyon vs Georgetown SFS

I’m trying to choose between Georgetown SFS and Kenyon College. I think I might want to go to law school, so I’m weary of the price/best investment/worth considering I’m going to put money in law school as well. My family does not qualify for financial aid so here’s the breakdown:

Kenyon: 25k/year merit scholarship (50k/yr)
Georgetown SFS: full sticker price (80k/yr)

I’m a debater, so I would continue that at Georgetown while Kenyon does not have a team. I don’t play sports and I’ve heard Kenyon is very sports-based. I am very interested in languages, mathematics, international studies, as well as literally everything else. SFS intimidates me a little bit since maybe I would discover some great passion for biology at Kenyon I’d otherwise never discover. But I’ll probably end up in law.
One of my main concerns is that I’d miss out on all the great opportunities being in a location like Georgetown would bring me over the rural mini town of Gambier, Ohio. Any insight would be very appreciated!!!

Can your family comfortably afford the cost at Georgetown? If so, I’d recommend Georgetown.

1 Like

Academically, you would make a great match for Kenyon in general, but, more specifically, it seems you would especially appreciate its Integrated Program in Humane Studies. Though this name suggests an emphasis on humanities, the program overall would provide you with historical and cultural context beneficial to the pursuit of any field. As one aspect to research as you consider your excellent choices, I suggest you look into it.

1 Like

What are the outcomes for those who participate in this program?

OP…I agree with itsgettingreal, if Georgetown is affordable (meaning doesn’t require more than the $27K total Direct student loans) that seems like a better fit for you.

1 Like

Both are fine schools, albeit very different. Have you visited Kenyon? Gambier is a VERY small town. If you will be able to have a car, there are many opportunities in Columbus, which is not that far away. But they are unlikely to be comparable to what DC has to offer if you are interested in pre-law/policy.

If your parents can comfortably afford the price difference, I’d lean towards Georgetown. If the money poses a hardship, then Kenyon. If your folks are willing to apply the difference to law school, then Kenyon.

Congrats, both schools are tough to get into and merit is competitive at Kenyon. You have done well!


If your family can afford it, Georgetown – known internationally – in a heartbeat.

Plus being in a city affords orders of magnitude more options for career oriented jobs and internships.

Unless the price difference is a hardship for your family, it has to be Georgetown. While Kenyon is a fine school, Georgetown is at a whole different level. Plus if you do end up going to law school, Georgetown offers a program that streamlines admission to its law school, allowing you to skip the LSAT.

As a parent of a Kenyon freshman, I just want to address your concerns about sports there. There are tons of students who are not athletes and are very happy at Kenyon. My daughter and most of her friends are among them, she is not an athlete, more of an artsy type, and there are many kids like her at Kenyon. Their foreign languages program is extremely strong, this was a nice surprise for us actually (I’m a foreign languages and literatures professor at a large state school, so I can really appreciate what Kenyon is doing). My daughter rediscovered her passion for languages there and is considering adding Modern Languages and Literatures as her second major (the first being History, which is great there, too).

As for internships, etc., in fact, we get an email every week from the Kenyon Career Services with various internship opportunities, “Kenyon connection” ads and jobs across the country, so it doesn’t mean your options are limited to the Columbus area.

Yes, of course, Georgetown is amazing and DC is a prime location. But if money is an issue, Kenyon will provide you with an equally high-quality education in an idyllic college setting and an intimate, close-knit community. From what I see, my daughter is receiving an Ivy-level education, which is probably true of many liberal arts colleges. Feel free to pm me if you have additional questions.


Normally I’d say Gtown - but if you are going to law school for sure, save the $$. Kenyon is a fantastic name but won’t be known by 90% of the country.

Still, you’re going to law school and it won’t impact you there - and $120K in the bank is maybe two years of law school expense.


So, I went to college very focused on going to law school. And I went straight to a top 3 law school. And I hated being a lawyer. Hated it. Practiced only 4 years, just long enough to pay off all my loans.

Looking back, I think it was a mistake to have pre-decided my career, even before the 1st day of freshman year.

My point: you may change your mind about law school. If you do, the Georgetown name will open many more doors than Kenyon’s, excellent school though Kenyon is. You will have a wider range of classes to explore. (E.g. my son at Emory decided to fulfill his language requirement by taking Farsi, his grandfather’s language. This choice isn’t available at small, liberal arts colleges).


This is a great point. The big question is if this is worth the $120 K difference. Only OP’s family can answer this question.


Funny - I almost went to law school - but sat in on a class at UCONN and hated it. And this was after I had Comm law at Syracuse - a whole semester devoted to the NY Times vs. Sullivan - and hated the class.

In grad school (MBA), i dated a Gtown educated lawyer - who spent all her time in a law library - and hated it.

I think prospective lawyers watch too much TV.

1 Like

The practice of law is nothing like it seems on TV. I highly recommend those thinking about law school become paralegals for 2 years before applying.


Yours is a common story, experienced by many lawyers who find they hate the work only after they join the profession.

1 Like

Wow, saving $120k at Kenyon is hard to pass up, especially if law schools is in the cards.

I have a different take: you are obviously a top student, as Kenyon scholarships are like gold dust. You are the kind of student who will succeed anywhere. If you are interested, have a look at all the notable Kenyon grads, many of whom are famous political figures. List of Kenyon College people - Wikipedia

I’ve cited this many times, but a few years back, Princeton Review published a peer ranked list of 300 best professors. I wish I could find the list, but at the time, my D had deposited at Kenyon. Kenyon had 8 top professors, while Harvard had 4. I’m am not sure of Georgetown, but even now, Kenyon’s average prof rating is a little higher than Georgetown’s. Rate My Professors - Review Teachers and Professors, School Reviews, College Campus Ratings

My point is that Kenyon is no slouch and is definitely not second rate.

I think you would have a great experience at Kenyon and have lots of in-depth interaction with professors and students that might not be quite the same as Georgetown. Of course GTown is right in DC, but Kenyon is very respected and I don’t think going there would hinder your chances of doing what you want in life.


@Lindagaf Can you elaborate on your comment about Kenyon scholarships being like gold dust? My son was also awarded one of their top merit scholarships. I would definitely appreciate learning more.


I don’t have a lot of info. My understanding is that Kenyon only gives scholarships to very top applicants who they hope to entice from the tippy top colleges. You can look at their website because they do have some information about their scholarships, but they don’t give details about how many students are offered them. I can tell you my own D nearly matriculated at Kenyon and they offered her zilch, lol. She ended up going to a different college due to a waitlist offer. Still, it’s a wonderful school and we know kids who had great experiences and are doing well in their postgrad life.

1 Like

I am always interested when a student is down to 2 such markedly different choices! Once upon a time you thought that Kenyon was a good option for you- why? SFS is the glamor choice here- but the $$ thing is real if you are law school- or grad school!!- bound. B/c the career paths from SFS almost always end up needing a pricey masters in 2-5 years. SFS has great Masters options and you can get there from Kenyon.

Other posters have said ‘if you can afford it w/o more than FAFSA debt, take SFS’- but I would go farther and say ‘take the no-debt option’ (and see if your parents will do a deal to put any ‘leftover’ money into a savings account for grad school). The early career paths for somebody looking at SFS-type paths are shockingly poorly paid.


I agree, no debt at all is important. As a different perspective, our family’s policy is that we parents pay for undergrad and our kids have no debt. However graduate school? That’s totally on them. I only share that to say there is no one right way to handle paying for college (and grad school).

Everyone’s values/financial situation is different. People turn down merit offers like Kenyon’s all the time – not to say OP should; just that, again, there’s no one right way.


Thank you all so much for your insight. It’s very much appreciated by me and my family. For further info, we would need to take out 25k loans a year for Georgetown which my parents would help pay down (would not all be on me out of college). Is SFS still worth it if we can afford it so long as we borrow?