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Hillsdale College Reviews

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  • 06/28/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 1 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek life on campus is different than any other college. For the women there is delayed recruitment for one semester so as to give the girls time to get to know the girls. Formal Recruitment occurs in the winter before everyone is back from break and ends with the new pledges running down the steps of central hall with their bid cards.

    What to do for fun

    You can always visit Slayton Arboretum for a nice nature feel or even Hayden park down the road. Downtown has plenty of unique shops to explore and the local resturants are a great treat.

    Food and Dining

    SAGA is food service on campus. The food is really good and we are a little spoiled with it, but it can be a little repetitive. Never miss Sunday brunch, because it is the best meal served every week.

    Dorm Life

    I highly recommend living in the dorms at least one semester. You will be suprised by the people you will meet and the ones that will become your best friends. Rember to bring extra towels.

    Academic Rigor

    The system is tough but fair. Because it is a liberal arts college, expect to take classes in fields you may not be as interested or as well versed in.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always fill out your paperwork on time, or better yet the earlier the better. Be prepared to study a lot even if you were a 4.0 student in high school.

    In three sentences

    Hillsdale College is a unique experience for any up-and-coming student, especially those interested in politics. The school is small, but the atmosphere is like none you will ever experience. This school has something about it that makes it different and makes you want to know what is the good.

  • 06/17/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 7 people found this review useful. 2 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Far from feeling any fear of personal harm, the students here don't even worry about theft. Macbooks and iPhones are used to save tables and benches by everyone, and there hasn't been a case of stealing that I've heard of.

    Greek Life

    Several frats and sororities, each with their own reputation. The best part about seeing an incoming class is guessing which one each will end up in!

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons of speakers and debates, as well as charitable organizations and dances put on by both the College and student clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    You've gotta be smart, and willing to sacrifice a party life for the best education and companions out there.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Nearly every professor has their own legends surrounding them, from Jackson (Never given an A in his career) to President Arnn (Famously asks unanswerable questions at the most inopportune moments). The dorm raids go way beyond the dorms, culminating in the annual naval battle between Simpson and Galloway on the park pond.

    Bang for the buck

    Not super pricey for a private school, and an incredible value for the level of education they give you. Financial Aid is really generous,keep in contact with them and you'll be set.

    What to do for fun

    Hillsdale is a pretty little town, but there is not really much to do there. Hayden Park is great for outdoor activities if the temperature permits, and there is a bowling alley and theater in town. Make some good friends, and enjoy the weekends with them. That's the best way to stay sane here.

    Food and Dining

    Students are required to have a meal plan with the cafeteria, probably the biggest drawback to this school. The plans are not particularly cheap, and the food is adequate at best. The cafe, AJ's, is much better. Since everyone eats in the cafeteria pretty regularly, it does build student camaraderie by quite a bit. Be prepared to discuss anything and everything with your table-mates, a group that sometimes even includes the College President himself!

    Dorm Life

    Each dorm has it's unique life, nearly obviating the need for Greek organizations in their closeness. Most students live in campus housing, so you can always find upperclassmen as well as peers to help you out with pretty much anything.

    Academic Rigor

    A's can be nearly impossible with certain profs, particularly in the core classes. Helpful in learning humility, and hey provide the pressure to turn your carbon scrawls into diamonds of literature.

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply early, it's the best way to ensure that you will get the maximum aid. Don't have high hopes for your first semester GPA, the first classes are a learning experience in navigating college life in general and the academic level in particular. Get to know the professors ASAP, they are really a wonderful bunch of people and it helps when it comes time for them to grade your work!

    In three sentences

    Hillsdale College is small, academically rigorous, and conservative. The size makes the class discussions and campus life extremely vibrant, as you get to know your fellow students very well in and out of class. The academic level is as high as the faculty can set it, a mindset linked to the conservative, individualistic, spirit that animates the school.

  • 12/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 3 people found this review useful. 3 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Imagine a place where you can leave your laptop in the middle of the student union, for three days, and not have any worry of coming back to have it wandered off any farther than the lost and found. That's Hillsdale.

    Greek Life

    Many people are involved in the Greek system. Three sororities and three fraternities are found at Hillsdale, all of which are active on campus with fundraisers, charity, volunteering, and student life in general.

    Clubs and Activities

    A wide variety of clubs are found on campus. Science clubs, political clubs, religious clubs, etc... Most of these are quite active on campus, and growing larger and more diverse every year.

    Great for these types of students

    Politically-minded, logic-minded students will find good company here. It is a rare day that deep, intellectual conversation on any number of topics, from politics to religion to ethics, can't be heard emanating from a lunch table or a lounge couch.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Heritage Room, in the library, houses incredible antique books and coins and other various artifacts. Also, a version of football called Thatcherball has been invented, which only men are allowed to play.

    Bang for the buck

    Great teachers who are willing to help you in your work, incredible connections after you graduate, and more.

    What to do for fun

    This is one of the problems if having a college in a small town. There are a few coffee shops, a bowling alley, and a theater within 3 miles of campus, but other than that, it can be hard to find off-campus fun. But who needs time for fun when you're spending all your time studying?

    Food and Dining

    Saga, the food company on campus, has a monopoly on the food service, and this greatly brings down quality of food. There are occasional quality choices, but they are few and far between.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is great, and there is a strong devotion to the dorm you are placed in. A healthy rivalry-between the two mens' dorms-has existed for decades, and even after graduation, alumni will remember and visit their old dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    It earned the title of the toughest college in the country, and as a student, I can assure you: it lives up to it. But what you learn will stick with you, and it greatly prepares you for anything you may want to go into.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get as many credits as you can in high school that cover core classes, or you will be taking quite difficult classes that are outside of your majors.

    In three sentences

    Hillsdale College is academically rigorous, with a strong reliance on Core classes. It will challenge all of its students to be their best, not only in class, but in other aspects of life. However, it is a school that you will either love, or hate, depending on your beliefs.

  • 06/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe campus.

    Greek Life

    WONDERFUL! Good balance of focus on academics, philanthropy, and fun.

    Great for these types of students

    Hard working students who are interested in history, literature, and the liberal arts.

    What to do for fun

    The town of Hillsdale is very small, so there isn't much. Joining a sorority or fraternity is very fun. The campus holds occasional dances or activities, but usually students are left to their imaginations to find fun.

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall gets tiresome after awhile because it is the only place to eat on campus, besides the cafe. The food is ok, but there isn't much variety.

    Dorm Life

    I didn't enjoy my freshman dorm, but I still made wonderful friends who lived in other dorms. My roommate wasn't a very good match. However, my dorm was suite style bathrooms and that was great.

    Academic Rigor

    Academics are very difficult, but very good.

    Tips for prospective students

    Plan out how you will pay for Hillsdale ahead of time because you won't get any federal aid. Come prepared to work super hard!

    In three sentences

    Hillsdale College is a wonderful school for those who are dedicated students and willing to work hard. It is a very academically rigorous school. Greek life at Hillsdale is phenomenal.

  • 05/04/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 4 people found this review useful. 5 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Academic Rigor

    I can't wait for the challenges that the difficulty level of this college will present to me.

  • 01/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 6 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe. It is a small campus with plenty of personnel monitoring our safety.

    Greek Life

    Greeks make up 40% of the campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a club for everything, and if there isn't one, making your own is fairly simple. Activities are sometimes lacking, but we try.

    Great for these types of students

    Homeschooler, private-schooler, awkward/nerdy/academically obsessed students from any background who loves conservative values. If you have a high moral compass or enjoy Lord of the Rings, you will find yourself at home. If you ever felt out of place anywhere else, come to Hillsdale where you will have a brotherhood of like-minded misfits.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are statues of Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Margaret Thatcher dotting the campus' landscape. Poor Margaret has become a target for oranges, pizza boxes, apples, and Christmas hats. For some reason, decorating and throwing things at her has become a campus tradition.

    Bang for the buck

    Hillsdale is worth every penny. They are extremely generous with financial aid, so few students end up paying the entire $30,000 a year. Even if you do, that is substantially cheaper than most universities. Hillsdale offers a unique education you cannot get anywhere else. Make the investment in your future.

    What to do for fun

    Get to know your classmates. Hillsdale is a small town. Other than bowling, roller skating, and a movie theatre you will not find many off-campus activities. However, this encourages close friendships and creativity. Games in the Union, movies at the dorm, and events offered by the campus' Students Activities Board offer entertainment. Students tend to complain about having nothing to do, but let us be honest, most of us would choose study over play regardless.

    Food and Dining

    Hate to break it to you, but do not expect fine dining from SAGA (the school's cafeteria). Reality is, the cooks are cooking in bulk, so flavor and originality are lacking. However, AJ's Cafe has some tastier treats and a hefty supply of ice cream. There are a few good restaurants around town and classic fast food such as McDonalds. We are all poor college students anyway, what do we expect?

    Dorm Life

    In some ways, it depends on where you live, but for the most part, the dorms are average. Spend a year with community bathrooms and you are sure to make lasting friendships. You may become irritated with the posted visiting hours and the strictness of the RA's in Olds Dormitory, but thankfully the Student Union is open until 3 a.m. For guys, the dorm camaraderie is fantastic. Girls certainly stay up screaming and giggling and become best of friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Be prepared to be challenged. The core will take up the majority of your freshman and sophomore year and you will likely have to work harder than you ever have and receive lower grades. Most students at Hillsdale graduated at the top of their class and the faculty is determined to knock freshman off their pedestals. They expect far more than your high school teachers did. Remember, Hillsdale's motto is Strength rejoices with the challenge.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make certain you ask current students about their experiences and come visit the campus. It is difficult to know if you belong at a school without seeing it for yourself. Ask your admissions counselor to let you sit in on the classes of the most difficult professors. Ask, ask, ask - the more questions you ask, the more answers you will receive that will enable you to make an informed decision.

    In three sentences

    Hillsdale is a liberal arts education with a rigorous core curriculum and brilliant, devoted professors and administration. The small campus provides access to personnel who can help students to achieve their goals. Any student seeking a personal, conservative liberal arts education will find a home at Hillsdale.

  • 10/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 7 people found this review useful. 7 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Prominent security office, but not to the point of interference. In a safe town, good location, and very good body of students that look out for one another.

    Greek Life

    Priorities are geared toward those who join sororities or fraternities, especially in off campus housing and academics.

    Great for these types of students

    Students are either socially awkward, home-schooled, or relying on football scholarships to get them through school.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The men's dorms usually launch raids on each other for fun. Capture the flag between dorms is common, and there is the statue dash which is a race around the campus' statues. Every year there's also a naval battle in the arboretum. Massive boats are built out of cardboard with water balloon launchers as artillery.

    Bang for the buck

    Tuition is high, but not as high in regard to other private schools. Hillsdale has pledged not to raise their tuition exponentially, so it stays relatively the same each year. This is nice.

    What to do for fun

    Town is boring and in the middle of nowhere.

    Food and Dining

    Can not be enrolled in the school without a meal plan to one of the lowest quality campus food companies one could imagine, whose daily meals run over $10 - no matter what you eat.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm rooms and bathrooms are small. Dorms are falling apart and are overcrowded, but the school refuses to let kids off campus because they do not want to lose money.

    Academic Rigor

    The grading is tough. There is a lot of reading. Kids study a lot. The professors give difficult midterms and finals. But it's not in a ha-ha type of way. They know they are helping you learn, and there is tons of time to seek help from the professors and other students.

    Tips for prospective students

    Scoring high on the SAT/ACT is very helpful, but people can get in with a score that is lower than their average. Interview if you can. Maintain a decent/higher GPA. Put a lot of time into your essays for admission, and bulk up on volunteerism in high school.

    In three sentences

    College does not practice what it preaches. All about the free market, yet forces kids to apply to spend their own money on off campus housing, a process that is determined by credit hours. Frustrating, uneventful, cold, and academically challenging.

  • 05/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 8 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    No one locks doors here! Not your car, not your dorm, not your bike. From day 1, I learned that this is a very safe campus. This one is a no brainer.

    Greek Life

    Again, lots!

    Clubs and Activities

    Lots! I'm a member of the baseball team, and it's a well-respected one. GINA track event brings in the best of the track teams from across the country.

    Great for these types of students

    Hillsdale attracts lots of private school and home school students from around the United States. It attracts a really diverse group of students. Has an impressive student body - really attracts the cream of the crop, top performing high school students who are up for a challenge and who believe in preserving the freedoms that make the United States great.

    Bang for the buck

    Since Hillsdale accepts no federal funds, the tuition and donations/fund-raising efforts pay for everything. Considering that, you get a great deal. Hillsdale is recognized around the world, and has a huge list of donors, many of the celebrities.

    What to do for fun

    Hillsdale isn't some big metropolis, so sometimes you have drive a ways to find traditional night life. But there's always something to do on campus - theatre, music, sports, arts, lectures.

    Food and Dining

    The food here is pretty good. Lots of fresh food and a lot of variety. The common dining hall is brand new and beautiful with a great view of the outdoors.

    Dorm Life

    Friendly atmosphere, lively without being obnoxious. People have a good time without trashing their rooms. And no one ever locks their doors. It's that safe!

    Academic Rigor

    Hillsdale doesn't dole out A's. You really have to work to be successful here. But you will really know your subjects, and you'll learn them with a unique perspective.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus, meet the faculty, attend a game, stay overnight. You'll get a feel for the safe, close-knit friendly environment.

    In three sentences

    Hillsdale is a great place to get a classic liberal arts education. Students learn to think for themselves, become critical thinkers, and appreciate the free market system. The small student body - 1400 students - lends itself to one-on-one attention from an internationally recognized faculty.

  • 04/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 9 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The area is very safe and the college has an excellent security staff.

    Greek Life

    Sororities and fraternities here are not like they are at other schools - Hillsdale's Greek system is known for its tight-knit community, service, and scholarship, not for drunken parties or vicious in-fighting.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are numerous and diverse clubs which put on a plethora of activities to suit a wide range of interests.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who like to learn and have an inquiring mind will do well here.

    Bang for the buck

    Hillsdale may be expensive, but it is relatively affordable given the quality of education you receive. Don't forget to include the side benefits, like free access to the sports complex and all lectures, public seminars, and fine arts events.

    What to do for fun

    Hillsdale is a small town, but there are always more activities at the college than one student could possibly participate in: guest lecturers, movie nights, art shows, professional artist concerts, theater productions, clubs, volunteer opportunities, and much more. Bigger towns are not far away for those who feel lost without shopping malls and movie theaters.

    Food and Dining

    The campus cafeteria is great as far as school cafeterias go. There are also good dining options in the surrounding towns.

    Dorm Life

    The community in the dorms is typical of the Hillsdale community: students living together become strong, life-long friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Students at Hillsdale spend a lot of time studying, but there are numerous resources available to those who want to learn and succeed. Professors and classmates provide both accountability and support for class attendance and work completion.

    Tips for prospective students

    Passionately pursue learning and character development. You won't get into Hillsdale just because you are a talented person but because you have potential to grow and excel.

    In three sentences

    Hillsdale is a community of faculty and students pursuing learning together. The professors love to teach and the students love to learn. Because the classes and the campus as a whole are small, students have the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with faculty and students with diverse subject concentrations.

  • 01/08/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 10 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus security is always cruising or walking around watching out for the students. Willing to pick up those in need without bias. They are a very helpful bunch.

    Greek Life

    One of a kind system. Not the typical Greek system, but rather how all systems should be run. Upstanding people (with a little bit of crazy typical Greek life mixed in).

    Clubs and Activities

    Something for everyone!

    Great for these types of students

    Athletes, intellectuals, interested in politics or economics, home schooled students, and any looking for a great education.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Each friend group has something they do, but there is nothing very well known. The SAB (student activities board) does host a couple fun activities per semester.

    Bang for the buck

    Financial aid helps pay for most of the student bill, relieving the burden. The value of the education is $54,000 but the college fund raises every year to knock down tuition to $30,000 for each student. Very reasonable for the quality.

    What to do for fun

    The town is small but offers plenty to do if needed. Large cities and towns are relatively nearby for a get-a-way shopping trip. Most students are kept plenty busy by the work load provided by difficult classes.

    Food and Dining

    The one dining hall on campus provides good cafeteria food with special health options for allergies or other needs. There is a coffee stand in one classroom building which is very handy. The cafe in the student union also serves excellent food, snacks, and special coffee.

    Dorm Life

    Most dorms are new and spacious but the furniture is rather awkward in the rooms. There are a lot of inter and inner dorm activities which are lots of fun and a great way to meet people. Visitation hours are a bit annoying as well.

    Academic Rigor

    All classes are designed for majors. That means a disappointing GPA, but it gives you a better education.

    Tips for prospective students

    This college is fantastic at getting freshmen to feel welcome. Do not worry if you do not know anyone before you get there.

    In three sentences

    The best liberal arts college in the United States. The education and people are what make this college so great and unique.

  • 01/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 out of 8 people found this review useful. 11 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Bookworms who are willing to be pushed out of their comfort zone. If you love learning and came to college for that purpose, you will find plenty of professors and peers here who will encourage you in it; but don't make learning a burden--for instance, by cloistering yourself away to study ALL the time. Trust me. College is a formative experience for the whole you, not just your mind, and forming friendships with likeminded folks will shape you in ways that books never can. Also, you have no excuse not to learn new, non-bookish skills--swing dancing, knitting, juggling, you name it. There's a club for just about every activity, or you can start one yourself. Some of my friends freshman year did just that. What started as a cadre of Jane Austen fans grew into a full-scale Regency Era club, the Cravats and Bluestockings, which hosts a weekly student-professor tea as well as a Regency Ball each spring.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit campus if at all possible. I knew I wanted to attend Hillsdale, but setting foot on campus and breathing the atmosphere, so to speak, was what convinced me I could not be happy anywhere else.

    Bang for the buck

    Overall it's been a great experience and one I wouldn't trade for any other college or degree plan. No college is perfect, and Hillsdale is no exception; but as they say, It's the people. Throughout the ups and downs of academic and emotional life, I have found friends at Hillsdale who will stick by me for life--and that's the best part.

    Am enjoying being here

    Absolutely! I would only wish for less winter and more sunlight.

    Am learning a lot

    Certainly. I have learned not just about my chosen fields, but about myself and what I have to contribute to the world--and also how I need to continue to grow in order to make that contribution. The one thing I would change is the way some professors seem to assume all students come in with certain knowledge and so they don't cover it in class, even in introductory classes. For instance, my professor for freshman English was a wonderful lecturer, but he asked us to write college-level literary analysis papers without actually explaining what literary analysis is. Not every high school teaches this, and unless you're taking AP courses or something, certainly doesn't teach it at the college level. Perhaps with the transition into the revised core curriculum over the next few years, this problem will be minimized.

  • 12/27/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 out of 10 people found this review useful. 12 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hillsdale is definitely a challenging school with a tough grading scale, but it is perfect for those seeking a challenging, yet unbelievably fun environment. The Hillsdale student maintains a certain level of conduct and honor that serves to raise the bar for the entire campus. If you want a school where you can leave your laptop in the library for hours on end and find it just how you left it (with the addition of a few ridiculous notes from your friends), then Hillsdale is the place for you.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely visit the campus. The community and the overall atmosphere is such that no one can properly describe it to you...you have to feel for yourself if it's the right fit for you. An overnight visit where you can stay in the dorms is best. Talk to the students, sit in on classes, and eat in the dining hall. People will be more than happy to talk to you about their experiences at the school.

    Bang for the buck

    Hillsdale has an incredible scholarship program, and the financial aid people are great to work with. The experiences on campus are worth every penny that you will pay.

    Am enjoying being here

    Hillsdale College has the best community out of every school that I considered. The students care about one another and look out for each other. Due to the small size and fairly isolated campus, you become very close to the other students, whether you are hanging out at the union, studying in the library, or sharing a meal in the dining room.

    Am learning a lot

    Freshman classes at Hillsdale make you think about the human condition on a deeper scale. The Western Heritage and Intro to Western Religion classes particularly cause some rearrangement in the students' manner of thinking about the world. Some of the classes that I have taken make me wish there were more hours in the day for me to study!

  • 11/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 13 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Anyone who truly looks at education as an opportunity to grow both academically and personally. This school is for those who strive to educate not only themselves, but to go on to educate those around them by their words and actions.

    Tips for prospective students

    Spend a night here, go to classes that interest you and you will discover that although a smaller college, Hillsdale College is giant in education and a catalyst for personal growth.

    Bang for the buck

    Most definitely the best education for the cost! Hillsdale College is least expensive college I looked at. The amount of personal time with professors is incredible, and the student to faculty ratio ensures that I get the most out of my time here.

    Am enjoying being here

    This has proven to be a close-knit school. People from all backgrounds have enhanced my time at Hillsdale.

    Am learning a lot

    The opportunity to learn here is incredible! The diverse offerings in the curriculum makes it somewhat difficult to choose my electives. Good thing I have four years here to take as many courses as possible.