Despite the College's best efforts, Kenyon is primarily attended by white students from fairly affluent backgrounds. The cost and competitive application process tend to dissuade those from other socioeconomic backgrounds. Recently, through the donation of notable alumnus Paul Newman, several scholarships have been put in place for those who are the first in their family to attend college. Kenyon’s diversity lies primarily in the range of political backgrounds and sexualities of its students. While it’s true that many Kenyon students are very politically active—shown in the 2004 political election coverage by CNN—this does not mean that they all share a liberal ideology. John M. O’Hara, contributing founder of the Tea Party, is a notable example of a conservative Kenyon alum. Student groups on campus reflect this wide range of interests. On the social front, the gay community at Kenyon is accepted and thriving.
Due in part to the openminded nature of most Kenyon students, there haven’t been many incidents of discrimination on campus in past years. Discrimination advisers exist on campus to help any student who feels he/she is in the minority. Overall, discrimination is not an issue on Kenyon’s campus, despite its relative lack of diversity.