Kenyon’s newest class, the class of 2022, is the largest class in Kenyon’s history, according to College Historian and Keeper of Kenyoniana Thomas Stamp ’73. There were 543 students enrolled, partly to compensate for the smaller class of 2021, according to Diane Anci, vice president of enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid. Class sizes at Kenyon are typically about 500 students.
A 2017 Collegian article covered the drop in applications for the class of 2021, which Anci attributed to the contentious 2016 presidential election. In 2017, the College received 5,600 applications, while this year there were 6,152 applicants, a nine percent increase.
Anci believes that this year’s applications were also depressed by the election, as the nine percent increase in applications this year does not fully compensate for the 12.5 percent decrease in the number of submitted applications for the class of 2021.
In addition, Kenyon’s acceptance continued to rise this year; the rate was 26.5 percent for the class of 2020, while for the class of 2021 it was 33 percent. In 2018, the College admitted 2,204 applicants, a 35.8 percent acceptance rate.
“This class is among the most diverse we’ve enrolled,” Anci said. This new first-year class has students from 42 states and 26 countries, with 461 high schools represented. Of this class, 20.1 percent are domestic students of color, 10.7 percent are the first in their family to attend college and 10.9 percent are international students. In the past, five percent of typical Kenyon classes have been international students.
In high school, the members of the class of 2022 had a 3.97 average weighted grade point average. On the ACT, the middle 50 percent scored between a 29 and 33. On the SAT, the middle 50 percent scored between a 640 and 730 on the verbal section, and 640 to 740 on the math section. Sixty percent were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. “The class is academically very consistent with past classes,” Anci said.
Because the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) plans the housing lottery before the Office of Admissions knows the size of the incoming class, ResLife had to make adjustments once it became clear in June that there would be 48 more first years than expected, according to Associate Director of Housing and Operations Lisa Train.
The class of 2022 is an “unexpectedly large incoming first year class,” according to a July 5 email Paola Cortes ’21 received from ResLife. ResLife contacted 48 upperclass students who were planning to live on the third floor of Mather Residence Hall, asking them to relocate to accommodate first years, according to Train.
Eighteen of those students, including Cortes, were moved to the west wing of Old Kenyon Residence Hall, historically housing for
Kenyon’s chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity, which was vacated due to the chapter’s suspension last spring. Cortes, along with her two roommates, will live in Old Kenyon 403, a triple room colloquially known as the Bullseye. Since the Lambda chapter of DKE has been continuous at Kenyon since 1852, this is perhaps the first time that women have occupied the upper floors of the west wing of Old Kenyon.
“In some ways the students were happy, because generally the people who are in Mather, the upperclassmen, tend to be the last ones that pick in the lottery, because that tends to be the last building that is left. So some people were able to get spaces down south that maybe they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise because of the lottery, so some people were happy,” Train said.
“We were pretty surprised by the fact that we would be getting a different room than anticipated, but I think we enjoy that it’s a bigger size … I think it’s really beautiful, the sun sets and sun rises are really beautiful … it’s a really classic part of Kenyon … it’s nice to be here, you know you’re part of something that makes Kenyon special,” Cortes said.
Although the total number of enrolled students this semester is not yet public, Registrar Ellen Harbourt confirmed that the number of enrolled students is the highest it has been since she arrived at Kenyon in 1998.
To satisfy the large first-year class and student body, some classes have been added, and several upper-level courses are now welcoming first years.
“There have been some classes that were originally conceived as 200- or 300-level classes, special topics, that have been changed to be more first year-oriented in a couple of departments,” Harbourt said.
Despite the historic size of the class of 2022, Anci assures that the atypical class will not hinder, but help Kenyon in achieving its goals.
“From a total enrollment perspective, when you take a step back and look at all four classes, we are very consistent with where we’ve been, even if this class is a little larger than what we typically enroll,” Anci said.