Kenyon without Loans

Newman campaign gift will allow needy students to attend Kenyon, loan-free

A financial-aid initiative announced in January by President S. Georgia Nugent guarantees a loan-free education for selected students with the greatest need and a record of achievement.

The program got under way immediately: twenty-five students were admitted as Newman's Own Foundation Scholars for the 2008-09 academic year. These students will have financial-aid packages without loans. The program, which is expected to grow in the coming years, was made possible by last year's $10 million gift from Paul Newman '49 and the Newman's Own Foundation, along with more than $30 million in other gifts.

The $40 million forms part of an endowment dedicated to financial aid, ensuring that the new program can be sustained in perpetuity. The gifts put Kenyon on track to reach its goal of $70 million in new financial-aid endowment through the current campaign, "We Are Kenyon: The Drive for Excellence."

"Our aspirations for the Newman's Own Foundation Scholars are high," Nugent said. "We hope they will be graduates who will really put their Kenyon educations to work to make the world a better place."

Jennifer Delahunty, dean of admissions and financial aid, said students chosen by a scholarship committee to become Newman's Own Foundation Scholars will be those with the greatest financial need who bring the qualities of creativity, community service, and leadership to Kenyon.

"The College has made a commitment to be accessible to students of every economic background," Delahunty said. "Borrowing for an investment in education is worthwhile, but some students find that loans just seem too daunting. Many have watched their families struggle with debt."

The average student-loan debt for Kenyon graduates is about $20,000, which mirrors the national average for students at liberal arts colleges. About two-thirds of the College's students receive some form of financial aid.

Newman helped launch Kenyon's capital campaign in June 2007 when he recalled his student days as a World War II veteran mingling with graduates of prep schools and public high schools.

"I believe strongly that we should be doing whatever we can to make all higher education opportunities available to deserving students," Newman said. "I hope others will support Kenyon in this manner, and, equally, that others will support colleges and universities around the country."