Before the pandemic, student tour guides led campus tours for prospective and admitted students. Now, select admissions directors lead prospective students around the campus one at a time. According to the Office of Admissions, prospective students and families are only allowed to enter Ransom Hall and the Kenyon Inn. Although Gambier restaurants are open to the public, the Office of Admissions advises families to be cautious if they decide to visit those establishments. In order to discourage guests from staying overnight in dorms or dining at Peirce Dining Hall, visitors are eligible for one night of accommodations and dining at the Kenyon Inn.
Kenyon is currently in its yield season, meaning admitted students make the decision of whether or not to matriculate. This season generally runs from mid-March, when decisions are released, until the beginning of May, when students have to make a decision. During a typical yield season, the College will have about five times the amount of students visit than it has had this year. Because of the restrictions on campus touring, it have only been able to accommodate 300 students.
On-campus tours have proved to be invaluable for the College. “When you think about our campus, our physical space, there’s so much to be excited about, but it’s really not just a real estate tour,” Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Diane Anci said. “We are aiming to communicate our values and our culture and who we are. So I know that we all end feeling like we’re on a Kenyon high.”
Tours are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so there are many students that the College has been unable to accommodate. According to Anci, there are currently about 200 students on the waiting list, but the Office of Admissions gets so few cancellations that it is unlikely those students will tour campus before deciding to enroll.
The College did not struggle with attracting applicants this year. According to Anci, it received over 7,576 applications for the Class of 2025 — a 15% increase from last year. However, attracting students for matriculation has been different from past years. Anci speculated that students applied to more schools this year because they didn’t have as much information from touring as they had in previous years. This is the reason why “we’ve mounted such a rigorous campaign during yield,” said Anci.
In addition to virtual tours and information sessions, Kenyon has created an admitted students website with ample resources. With these measures, the Office of Admissions hopes to attract future students that are a right fit for Kenyon.