He came to Columbia after being recruited to play soccer, and he majored in econ. But he soon gave up soccer and sang for the Kingsmen in addition to solo gigs at The West End. He got an early start in the 99th Varsity Show when its musical director took off to study abroad in England and took the show's music with him, leaving the show with no one to turn to but the freshman, whom a cast member - Kitt's future wife, Rita Pietropinto-Kitt - approached in his John Jay Hall room. He continued to write for the Varsity Show, collaborating with Brian Yorkey, with whom he would eventually share his Pulitzer.
Kitt was also a member of Phi Kappa Alpha. After college, he turned down a job offer from Morgan Stanley to continue writing music.