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The Princeton Review ranked Hillsdale College in its 2019 annual rankings. | Wiki­media Commons

The Hillsdale Col­legian placed as the fifth-best college news­paper and Hillsdale College stu­dents’ com­munity-service involvement placed No. 4 in the nation, according to the Princeton Review’s latest annual Best 384 Col­leges survey.

A national survey of college stu­dents that col­lects data on every­thing from classroom value to student life, the Princeton Review’s 2019 ranking placed Hillsdale within the top 20 col­leges in a dozen of 62 cat­e­gories, including “pro­fessors get high marks” and “most acces­sible pro­fessors.”

The Col­legian improved its 2019 ranking from No. 9 in 2017 and No. 7 in 2018.

Maria Servold, assistant director of the Dow Jour­nalism program, said she believes The Collegian’s success is due to the char­acter of Hillsdale’s stu­dents.

“Because we have such high-quality stu­dents, when those stu­dents do jour­nalism, it’s high-quality jour­nalism,” she said. “We’ve had really good student editors. They put in place bench­marks and goals for staff. That’s what inspires the staff to do a good job.”

While it helps inform stu­dents and faculty, The Collegian’s primary purpose is to serve as a “teaching tool” for jour­nalism stu­dents, said John Miller, director of Hillsdale’s Dow Jour­nalism Program.

“This is a great tes­tament to the hard work of our stu­dents in making our news­paper an excellent pub­li­cation,” Miller said. “It’s won­derful to get the recog­nition of Princeton Review.”

The ranking for Hillsdale stu­dents’ com­munity-service efforts made the biggest jump, from No. 9 last year to No. 4 this year. Asso­ciate Dean of Men Jeffrey Rogers credits the ever-growing com­munity presence to stu­dents hearing about pro­grams by word of mouth.

“I think the GOAL [Great Oppor­tu­nities for Assis­tance and Lead­ership] program leaders have taken the oppor­tunity to engage stu­dents,” Rogers said. “The Hillsdale com­munity has a lot of great needs out there. I don’t think you could go to Hillsdale and not see the need, and not want to help.”

Senior Lu Townley, the GOAL program coor­di­nator for the 2017 – 18 school year, said she attributes the ranking to the GOAL leaders’ passion and hard work that “finally paid off.” As GOAL program director this year, she said she plans to improve mar­keting and pub­licity on campus and get every student to vol­unteer at least once.

Asso­ciate Dean of Women Rebekah Dell says the rankings may draw in more stu­dents who are pas­sionate about using their time to serve the broader com­munity. This is part of the edu­cation outside the classroom that the college pro­motes, she said.

“It is an exciting result to see because I do see on a regular basis that our stu­dents are very inter­ested in investing in the com­munity,” she said.

Though its rankings for pro­fessors dropped slightly from last year, Hillsdale remained among the top 20 schools in the nation with the best and most acces­sible instructors, placing ninth for “pro­fessors get high marks” and 16th for “most acces­sible pro­fessors.”

Dell said she hasn’t seen a shift in the student-faculty culture.

“I’m con­tinuing to hear pos­itive things,” Dell said, adding that it is the student expe­rience more than rankings that drives the school, its instructors, and its stu­dents.

The college’s other top-20 rankings included No. 3 for most con­ser­v­ative stu­dents; No. 5 for most reli­gious stu­dents; No. 9 for most polit­i­cally-active stu­dents; and No. 16 for “college city gets low marks.”

Rogers says the college’s mission and daily student life don’t change based on its rankings with the Princeton Review, but it’s good to see that recog­nition.

“It’s a val­i­dation of what we’re doing at Hillsdale,” he said. “We don’t need it, but it does speak to [the fact that] our stu­dents are happy.”

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Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan is a junior from northern Michigan, studying English and journalism. He is this year's News Editor at the Collegian, as well as a student writer with the marketing department. This summer, he is interning with the editorial and news sections of the Detroit News. You can find him reading good poetry and trying desperately to be better at appreciating art. Email: nryan1@hillsdale.edu | Twitter: @NolanRyan76
  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    Good news, but it’s too bad the Col­legian goes to sleep for 4 months in the summer. And we need more par­tic­i­pation in the com­ments section. The paper is widely read, I’m sur­prised more people don’t comment on the articles.

    • Jen­nifer Melfi

      Great work on winning this dis­tinction. I am very happy for you all. “Nolan Ryan” is also a great name. May you live up to your namesake in some field. As men­tioned above, I think that you could improve your ranking in a few ways — 1. con­tinuing the dis­cussion. If that means, “in the com­ments” then I guess so — or at least fol­lowing up on the reaction. Maybe not all of these stories would be printed (I’m guessing you still print the paper for campus dis­tri­b­ution?) but at least for the online fol­lowers. 2. Would love to see more fol­lowup on the inter­views. Don’t be afraid to go after your sub­jects a little bit and make them be accountable for how they spend money and the direction they are leading the school. They aren’t all-pow­erful or all-knowing. Make them explain it!

      “Group head­quarters was alarmed, for there was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever ques­tions they wanted to.”
      -Catch 22