Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI, was founded in 1844 and at present has a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 1,400 students. This liberal arts college is known for its conservative standing; even so, the Hillsdale offers courses on both Greco-Roman culture and Judeo-Christian themes. It is presently ranked as the 82nd best liberal arts college in the United States.
The atmosphere is calm, quiet and conservative. While there are fun activities to do in town, a lot of students spend their free time studying as the school has a high academic standard. Alcohol is not permitted on the campus, even for those who are of legal age to buy a drink.
Hillsdale College also has a reputation for being safe and secure. Students note that it is possible to forget important items (a laptop, iPad, etc.) in a common area, come back much later and find the item still there. A student can also walk around the campus and/or the town at night without fear. The college has controlled dorm access, 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, and lighted pathways and sidewalks.
Hillsdale is a small, rural town of about 9,000 people and does not offer much in the way of entertainment. There is a movie theater, a bowling alley and some local restaurants and diners. The local Wal-Mart is one of the few places to shop in town.
Those who are looking for entertaining things to do off-campus may want to consider engaging in outdoor events such as hiking, biking, swimming and boating. Lake Baw Beese has a nice beach area and several surrounding parks, and Slayton Arboretum is the spot of choice for any nature lover.
Most students in Hillsdale College have a reputation for being friendly and easy to get along with. Greek life is very active in the college; there are three sororities and seven fraternities and about half of all students have membership in one of these student bodies. There are also several music and art major affiliated honoraries.
Those who have cars are likely to drive to either Ann Arbor or East Lansing for the weekend; either of these cities is about a two hours’ drive from Hillsdale and offer many more entertainment and shopping opportunities. Those who do opt to stay in town for the weekend are likely to study, hang out with a small group of friends on campus or visit one of the town’s few attractions.
Only 15% of Hillsdale College students live off-campus. However, current and former students note that finding off-campus housing is not difficult. Houses and some apartments are available for rent in a variety of price points; the only downside if the fact that the town’s rural nature means that available housing is not as modern or new as housing options in non-rural college towns. The dorm rooms are larger than average, in good condition and very convenient; however, dorm residents are required to buy one of the college’s many food plans, all of which get poor ratings.
Aside from the fact that Hillsdale College is located in a rural community with few fun things to see and do, students note that the college’s workload is extremely demanding and hard to keep up with.
There is a lot to love about Hillsdale College. Students note that the financial aid process makes it simple for students in need to get financial help. The cost of living is quite low, and it is easy to get by on a limited budget. Additionally, the college’s career center gets high marks for providing a great deal of help and assistance to students who are looking for a job or internship and/or need some other types of career-related advice and assistance. Hillsdale College also has a strong alumni network.
Many famous people in times past and present have studied at Hillsdale College. Some of the college’s best known alumni include LaMarcus Adna Thompson (inventor), Peter Leithart (author), Elizabeth Friedman (cryptographer) and Erik Prince (Former Navy SEAL and owner of infamous contractor firm Blackwater). Many politicians from both political parties have studied at this college as well, including Hans Zeiger, Aric Nessbit, Thomas Morrison, Chris Chocola and David Cornwall.
Classes are not easy. Most students find the course work overwhelming. However, the professors have a reputation for being dedicated and more than willing to provide extra tutoring, help and advice. Given the fact that classes are quite small, it is not hard to get one-on-one assistance as and when needed.
The most popular majors are majors related to business, management, marketing and related support services. Other common majors include social sciences, English language and literature, history and biological/biomedical sciences. About two thirds of all students in the college study one of the above-mentioned majors; even so, obscure, less popular study majors are also considered respectable.
Hillsdale College has six men’s sports teams and seven women’s sports teams. However, student involvement in these teams is not particularly high. Even so, students rally around their players and turn up for games, particularly volleyball and football. However, the school does not place a high importance on sports, and many professors do not give leeway or allowance for sports activities, which means that athletes have to work twice as hard to practice for their chosen sport and keep up their grades.
Hillsdale has large seasonal differences. Current and former students note that it gets very hot and humid for three to four months every year; however, winter and springs are quite cold and it snows a lot from November to March.
Hillsdale College has a fairly even guy/girl ratio; at present, 53% of students are female while 47% are male. A number of students note that the college is quite conservative, so most students do not get seriously involved with others of the opposite sex. Gay or unmarried showy displays of affection are looked down on; in fact, Hillsdale College ranks in fifth place among the most prudish colleges in the United States.
Despite being a somewhat small college, Hillsdale has a great deal of international representation. In fact, there are currently international students from close to a dozen countries studying at the school; international representation comes from countries as diverse as Nepal and Canada. Additionally, Hillsdale College has international educational partnerships that enable students to study in France, Germany, Scotland, Spain or the UK.
Those who are interested in pursuing a career related to politics will find Hillsdale College’s Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program to be ideal. Those who sign up for this program can take advantage of internship and study opportunities in field related to national security, American foreign policy and/or politics.