Kenyon vs Georgetown SFS

Yikes! That’s borrowing $100,000! As the person who was advocating for Georgetown maybe the most, I say this new info changes everything. Absolutely, go to Kenyon and make the most of it. Kenyon is a great school.


Buy the Kenyon hoodie.
Pay the deposit.
Enjoy Ohio!


The only way I would even consider G’Town (and I love SFS) is if the following condition is true. Your parents are willing to pay the loan AND your parents are younger (early 40’s or less) AND your parents have no debts except a home loan (maybe one car near paid off) AND your parents income is increasing or recently increased AND you are an only child. That is a lot of AND statements. If not, I hope you look good in purple.


No, please tell your parents that under NO circumstances should they borrow $100,000! They, and you, will regret if forever. That will doom them to a subpar retirement, no money for emergencies, no money for any other siblings to go to college, no money for vacations, home repairs, a new car. Your family cannot afford Georgetown, even if they take out a loan. Kenyon is amazing, so please go there. You will not regret that choice.

ETA: It will be close to impossible for you to ever buy a house or have a comfortable life with $100,000 in debt as soon as you graduate from college. The max loans you as a student can take out in four years of college is about $27,000. That’s tough to pay off as it is. And I can’t see how you would ever afford any kind of grad school with $100,000 in debt before you even get started.

I think it’s hard for a teenager to understand that it is real money you’ll have to pay and there are very negative consequences to being saddled with huge debt. Understand that your scholarship to Kenyon is an honor and that they only give it to the very best. Love the school that loves you back.


That changes everything. Go to Kenyon and excel there. Seek out summer opportunities in Washington DC.


Check the Common Data Set – roughly 25% of the student body gets merit non-need based award, averaging just under $15k.

Yes, but this student got, I believe, the very top award.

I would not recommend borrowing that much, especially when you have an excellent alternative. I know someone who turned down Georgetown also for financial reasons, in favor of a free ride at a reputable state school (honors program), and the family never regretted this decision. Don’t let you and your family get caught up in the prestige mindset and complicate your own and your parents’ financial future as a result.


I was responding to @MMRose’s question asking for info on how many students get merit awards, and how much is awarded – so I pointed her to the CDS data showing roughly 25% of the student body gets merit with an average award of just under $15k. CDS only includes average award, not range of awards, though based on admissions threads over the past 5 years, Kenyon seems to top out around $25-30k.

@Midwestmomofboys and @Lindagaf Thank you both! I am looking at the CDS now. What is interesting is that it seems to only list merit awards for those with no need-based component. Regardless, it’s great to have data!


I agree with the comments. That’s way too much debt for a bachelors degree.

Hi everyone! Thanks for the insights. If I had to go 40k into debt to go to Georgetown instead of the previous amounts, would that change your opinions? Is Georgetown worth 40k of debt?

How are you going to get $40k worth of loans? The government will only give you a max of $27,000 over your four years of college. Plus interest. Will you personally go into debt if you choose Kenyon? Your scholarship is valuable, but you still have to pay room and board.

Please give exact numbers of how much each school is going to cost your parents, and how much YOU will have to pay for each school.


So funny. I interned for the state of MA between junior and senior year of college - was intending on law school. Met so many law school interns and all of them, ALL, told me not to do it. Most hated it (and they were going to good law schools).

Years ago, I had a friend who was a career counselor and told me that half of her clients were lawyers, corroborating what you observed. My friends explanation was that the formula for success in law school (reading and analyzing briefs) is very different from the formula for success in legal practice (sales). It’s the rainmakers, the ones who bring in business, are the ones who are valued by their firms, not necessarily the ones who are “good at the law.”

Another thing that lawyers who work for big firms hate is the impossible hours. The grind of long hours is not the formula for happiness. No time to have a life. No time for a spouse or for family.

There are lots of different kinds of legal careers, from small town lawyer, to government lawyer, to corporate lawyer, etc. most of them never see the inside of a courtroom. Yet, so many kids were enticed to the legal profession by what they’ve seen on TV. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor openly says that she was drawn to the legal profession by watching the old Perry Mason TV show. At some point reality intrudes.


Georgetown just responded to our aid appeal and now we likely will take out 14k federal unsubsidized loans total (3.5k per year) since they gave us that and a work study and some small grant. I believe the interest is paid by the gov until 6 months after I graduate? My parents don’t plan on giving the debt to me directly; they would help considerably.

For Kenyon, we might be able to not take out loans. I would have to check with them.

I’m worried about my job prospects / which school would be more worth it. I truly don’t know if I want to go to law school or anything like that. Don’t worry everyone; don’t plan on making drastic life decisions based on what TV lawyering looks like.

Based on this new info, does anyone have any new insight?

just posted some new info that answers this. thank you so much for all of the answers you have contributed to this thread. i really appreciate it; this process is so stressful!

If loans are unsubsidized, then interest accumulates the whole time you’re at school. What you describe (the government paying the interest) applies to subsidized loans-- this is why they’re called subsidized.

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3.5K loan per year + workstudy makes G’Town SFS affordable*. :slight_smile:
Make sure to take advantage of the career center as early as October freshman year, get a resume ready, start looking for a semester and summer job, externship, or paid internship even if unrelated and unglamorous (b/c freshman…:p), learn now while you have time to prepare and practice, from upperclass students whom you may be in touch with, how to prepare for the selection process required by coveted clubs, etc. SFS is a huge deal but not just for the classes, also for the professors(-> office hours**), classmates, connections, clubs, activities, possibilities.

(*w/ interest it’d add up to about 16K over 4 years, far less than the 27K that are considered a reasonable amount for a college graduate to pay back over 10 years.)

**to prepare for office hours, write asterix or questions next to classnotes based on the reading or the lecture, then go ask during office hours starting the first week. The question can relate to something you’re not sure you understood or something you found very interesting and you ant to know more about. Most freshmen wait till the midterm to go to office hours and focus on the exam whereas by showing up right away, you get to introduce yourself and the professor gets to know you a little through your intellectual curiosity.