Section: News

Kenyon, 41 of 42 of lowest student debt in Ohio colleges

By Regan Hewitt

Two dollars can buy you two items off of McDonald’s Dollar Menu. Two dollars is about half of the cost of a large Wiggin Street Coffee latte. Two dollars is also the amount of money that allowed Ohio to sidestep the top 10 and take the number 11 spot on a list issued by the Institute for College Access and Success of states whose undergraduate students are burdened by the highest educational loans.

Within the purportedly debt-laden state of Ohio, Kenyon graduating students will have relatively minimal debt, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Out of a list of 42 Ohio colleges and universities featured in a Dispatch article (“Are Ohio students getting better at managing college debt?” Nov. 13), Kenyon came in second-to-last in the amount of student debt after graduation in 2013, ranking at number 41. Higher rankings indicate lower average debt per student.

In 2013, the average debt of Kenyon students after graduation was $18,902, according to the Dispatch. This amount is considerably lower than at other Ohio schools such as Xavier University, with an average debt of $30,540, or Miami University at $27,181. 

Overall, the average Ohio student debt for an undergraduate degree is $29,090. This includes students from state and private institutions, from large research universities to smaller liberal arts colleges. “We meet 100 percent of need with low or no loans,” Jennifer Delahunty, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, said, echoing the promise made on Kenyon’s website.

Kyla Spencer ’18 supported Delahunty’s claim. “I got a lot of good financial aid from Kenyon, so I’m not too worried about student debt,” Spencer said. According to Delahunty, Kenyon’s aid packages are at least 80 percent scholarships and grants.

However, some students are not as convinced that Kenyon’s financial aid is meeting 100 percent of their needs. “It’s really traumatizing to depend your entire future on the generosity of a school’s financial aid to come through for four years, based on how much can change during four years,” Savannah Daniels ’18, a designer for the Collegian, said.

Delahunty indicated that minimizing student debt is a priority for Kenyon. “[We] want to allow students to invest in their education,” she said, “but not be burdened by too much debt.”


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