Last Thursday, the Board of Trustees announced that Kenyon’s tuition will be $80,100 for the 2022-23 academic year — an over $3,000 increase from the previous year, making the College one of the most expensive schools in the nation. This is quite a significant increase, without first making change on a real, structural level. We believe that, if inflation will continue to alter the cost of attending Kenyon, the College needs to live up to its costly promises.
We understand that Kenyon’s total cost increases just about 4.4% annually to account for inflation. But this 4% each year means that, in our four years at Kenyon, we have seen the price of attendance increase over $10,000, all while students are still paid at Ohio’s minimum wage.
While the College cites higher costs and the expansion of its student aid budget as the reasons for the increase, it is also coming at a time when many families are struggling with finances resulting from pandemic-related circumstances. But even more so, this change is coming when it seems that dissatisfaction with Kenyon is on the rise: Over the last two years, students have continually vocalized growing concern about working conditions, health and safety protocols, residential plans and accessibility services.
If Kenyon is determined to continually increase the cost of tuition, it needs to be more attentive to its students and address our community’s concerns. Decisions continue to be made without the input of our student body and are harming the Kenyon experience. Recent choices by the administration to eliminate the Kenyon Farm residential program, get rid of the Craft Center and create temporary housing spaces near McBride Field are just a few examples of misguided decisions that failed to account for student preferences.
As a school that sells itself on its unique, student-driven approach to learning — and not necessarily on its promise of high salaries following graduation — the continued spike of tuition does not bode well for the future of the school’s student body. For students who take out loans to attend Kenyon, it is difficult to achieve a return on their investment upon graduating, especially during a national student debt crisis, in which 45 million Americans collectively owe over $1.75 trillion.
The College needs to maintain its promise of offering students a different sort of experience and education, one that does not necessarily translate to economic return, but nonetheless makes its students’ experience worthwhile.
The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief Jordy Fee-Platt ’22 and Linnea Mumma ’22, managing editor Amanda Pyne ’22 and executive director Joe Wint ’22. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.