KEEP is one of the premier programs in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The program was developed out of elements of the Silverweed Expository Writing course through a grant from the Silverweed Foundation and an HHMI grant that provided funding to develop a quantitative reasoning course. KEEP was piloted during the 2006-07 academic year with a class of 12 scholars. That fall, the Board of Trustees approved a fully funded program and, in 2012, doubled the program to include 24 scholars.
KEEP is a selective 4-year scholarship program aimed at recruiting, retaining, and insuring the success of underrepresented students of color and first-generation college students. KEEP scholars represent a broad range of curricular and co-curricular interests, and they possess strong academic and social leadership potential. KEEP scholars come from diverse backgrounds, including, but not limited to, individuals of various racial/ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, abilities, religions, socioeconomic status, etc.
KEEP scholars participate in two 2.5 week credit-bearing intensive summer courses before their first year at Kenyon, for a total of 0.5 units that can be applied to the overall required credits for graduation. The courses include writing and data. The focus of all academic and co-curricular activities is to strengthen leadership skills, verbal communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and effective teamwork. During the academic year, scholars meet with the KEEP director individually and participate in student success initiatives, including academic workshops, holistic well-being activities, professional development, graduate school preparation and social events.
The KEEP scholarship eliminates the loan and work-study obligations of the financial aid package for all four years. During the KEEP summer experience, KEEP scholars receive a stipend of $1000, contingent upon successful completion of the program. Throughout the first year, scholars receive two additional stipends of $250 per semester to be used for books, for a total of $500.To receive the stipend, and to renew financial aid benefits annually, students must actively participate in required KEEP meetings, workshops and events all four years of study.