Hillsdale College
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"Tucked away in the rolling hills of Southern Michigan, Hillsdale College is committed to...
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Hillsdale College

Hillsdale, Michigan

A Focus on Liberty in Life and Learning

An independent, four-year college in south-central Michigan, Hillsdale College offers the rigorous and lively academic experience one expects of a tier-one national liberal arts college, and it stands out for its commitment to the enduring principles of the Western tradition. Respected for its academic reputation, Hillsdale has also acquired a reputation for its virtue and for upholding the traditions of a true liberal arts education. It has a rich history and a renowned faculty where social, political, and religious conservatism are the hallmarks of each student’s experience.



Student Profile

1,400 students (48% male, 52% female); 47 states and territories represented; 3% international.

Faculty Profile

124 full-time faculty. 10:1 student/faculty ratio. Average class size is 15.

Residence Life

Highly residential: 85% of students live on campus.

School Location

Hillsdale, Michigan—90 miles west of Detroit, 70 miles northwest of Toledo, and 200 miles east of Chicago.


NCAA Division II, GLIAC Conference. 14 varsity sports (6 men’s: baseball, basketball, indoor track, football, cross-country, track & field; 8 women’s: basketball, volleyball, swimming, indoor track, softball, tennis, cross-country, track & field), and club and intramural sports.

Other Information

Hillsdale College is an independent, coeducational, residential, nonsectarian, selective, liberal arts college founded in 1844.

More Distinctions

  • Ranked among the forty best college values in Money Guide magazine nationally since 1995.

  • Forbes Magazine recognized Hillsdale College as #1 in Michigan, #7 in the Midwest and among the top ten percent of undergraduate programs nationwide.

  • Included in Barron's biyearly list of Best Buys in College Education since it began publishing this guide in 1990.

  • On College Choice Report's list of "101 Best College and University Values."

  • Princeton Review's Best 376 College’s guide lists Hillsdale among its “Great Schools for…Majors,” in Education and History, and among the top 20 “Most Conservative and Most Religious” students, determined by both student survey results and statistical information provided by the college.

  • Princeton Review ranks Hillsdale seventh in the “Top-10 Best Value Private Colleges.”

  • Intercollegiate Studies Institute includes Hillsdale in the “Top-50 “All-American Colleges.”

  • U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Hillsdale among the top 100 national liberal arts colleges

  • Young America’s Foundation (YAF) lists Hillsdale in the top 10 Conservative Colleges


Social activities at Hillsdale are stimulating and varied. Student clubs offer diverse opportunities for involvement, Greek communities explore leadership potential and develop lifelong friendships, and opportunities to be involved in varsity athletics and intramural sports all enable students to have a great experience at Hillsdale College…

An Active and Rigorous Experience

  • Hillsdale offers its 1,400 students a number of exciting study-abroad options, including programs at St. Andrews, Scotland; Seville, Spain; Cordoba, Argentina; University of Oxford, England; Saarbrücken and Würzburg, Germany; Regent’s College, London; and Tours, France. Biology majors take advantage of the South Africa Internship Program or a three-week summer course at a marine biology facility in Long Key, Florida. Hillsdale’s 685-acre Gordon Biological Research Station, the largest private college biological station in the state, provides students with the opportunity to study the flora and fauna of aquatic and wetland environments.
  • Domestically, students participate in Hillsdale’s many internship programs. Two popular options include the Washington-Hillsdale Intern Program (WHIP), offering students an unparalleled opportunity to work right in the middle of it all in Washington, DC at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, and the Professional Sales Intern Program, conducted during the college’s summer recess months. In addition, the career services office promotes numerous other internship opportunities.
  • Most Hillsdale students volunteer in the community, often through organizations and events such as Hillsdale Christian Fellowship, Alpha Omega Crisis Pregnancy Center, Adopt-a-Grandparent, Young Life, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Relay for Life.


Hillsdale is committed to traditional values of freedom, individual dignity, free enterprise, and limited government. These values are expressed with passion by the faculty and students as they engage in energetic discussions in and outside of the classroom…

A Philosophical Habit of Mind

  • Classes average around 15 students, and the overall student to faculty ratio is ten to one. About 90 percent of faculty holds terminal degrees in their field. The college offers thirty majors, seven interdisciplinary concentrations, and nine pre-professional programs; the most popular programs are business, history, politics, English literature, teacher education, and the sciences. Students at Hillsdale report that they spend a great deal of time studying and engaged in meaningful debate.
  • All students share the common academic experience of the core curriculum, which requires studies of the United States Constitution, rhetoric, great books, and Western and American heritage.
  • Classes at Hillsdale typically pay special attention to original source documents and embrace the Socratic method of learning, which teaches by asking questions. Students are encouraged to articulate both what they think and why they think this.


Every Hillsdale student is able to engage in forming strong relationships with peers and faculty members. Each student’s experience is impacted by the people that surround them, academically, socially, and spiritually…

A Cosmopolitan Mix of Students, Activities, and Beliefs

  • Hillsdale is proud of its history as the first American college whose charter prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or gender. Though founded in 1844 by Freewill Baptists, Hillsdale has always been nonsectarian. However, the college makes a point of emphasizing “moral truths that bind all Americans, while recognizing the importance of religion for the maintenance of a free society.” The college is committed to the classical liberal arts, Judeo-Christian principles, Greco-Roman heritage, and independence of thought and action.
  • The student body is self-governed by an Honor Code that promotes collegiality, passionate and aggressive pursuit of truth, a pledge to live an honorable life, and a commitment to self-governance. The college believes that the honor code contributes to Hillsdale students’ reputation for being fiercely independent rather than blind followers.
  • The college attracts many nationally known speakers to events, both on and off campus, including the National Leadership Seminars and events hosted by the Center for Constructive Alternatives. Speakers tend to be of a more conservative stripe than at most colleges, and have included Steve Forbes; conservative radio host Michael Medved; Newt Gingrich; Karl Rove; and Andrei Illarionov, former chief advisor to the prime minister of the Russian Federation. Hillsdale’s distinguished visiting faculty have included Justice Clarence Thomas, historian David McCullough, Sir Martin Gilbert, Mark Helprin, and Victor Davis Hanson.
  • About 85 percent of students live in campus housing. Dorms are single-sex, with the exception of a new residence hall featuring separate wings for men and women. About one in three students’ joins a fraternity or sorority, and some choose to live in fraternity or sorority houses.
  • Varsity athletics are an integral part of the life of the college, and in recent years, some teams—notably, the football, track & field, women’s volleyball and basketball teams—have achieved considerable success at the Division II level.


Far-ranging by design and incisive by method, study at Hillsdale College is intellectually demanding. Students work closely with faculty who guide them in their studies, helping students to prepare for a lifetime of accomplishment, leadership, and learning…

Our Evidence of Success

  • Alumni and parents of current and former students remain fiercely devoted to Hillsdale. Many are actively involved in the recruitment of new students through interviewing, letter writing, phoning, or participating in college fairs in their communities.
  • According to recent surveys, 95 percent of graduated students are employed, enrolled in graduate or professional schools, or obtaining advanced certification within six months of graduation. The college is proud that its graduates are honorable, conscientious citizens who appreciate freedom and live productive lives.


The application process strongly encourages an interview with an admissions counselor. This allows Hillsdale to know each student and their academic background, their personal achievements and goals, their interests outside the classroom, and their desire to enter Hillsdale College. This interview marks the beginning of the personal attention that is a Hillsdale hallmark.

Admission Application Deadlines

Hillsdale offers Early Decision (Nov 15th), Early Action (Dec 15th) and Regular Decision (Feb 15th) plans. A non-refundable deposit of $300 is due by Jan 15th for Early Decision and May 1st for Early Action and Regular Decision.

Financial Aid

92% of undergraduates at Hillsdale receive some form of financial aid. The average award is $ 14,000, including self-help.

Basic expenses for the 2012-2013 school year at Hillsdale are as follows:

Tuition (12-17 credit hours/semester) $21,390

Room $4,290

Board (19 meals/week) $4,350

General Fees $590

Total $30,620

To supplement family’s contribution and make every student’s private education affordable, Hillsdale College offers scholarships and grants to students based on academic performance, extra-curricular involvement, athletic ability (as a NCAA Division II school), and fine arts talents. In addition to performance-based scholarships and grants, Hillsdale also offers need-based scholarships, grants and low-interest loans. Because Hillsdale College chooses to remain completely financially independent, they allocate over $18,000,000 to financial aid, resulting in an average aid package of $14,000.00 per student, including self-help.