Central Hall | Carmel Kookogey

Hillsdale College 2018 appli­cants faced the lowest admit­tance rate in the college’s admis­sions records, according to pre­lim­inary data.

At 37 percent, this year’s enrollment rate is the lowest it has ever been, down from 41 percent last year and con­tinuing a 4-year downward trend. The school’s Admis­sions Office usually aims for a class size ranging from 350 to 380 stu­dents, and this year it enrolled 357 stu­dents, down from 391 last year.

Addi­tionally, the class is 55 percent men and 45 percent women, a greater gender dif­ference com­pared with last year’s 50 – 50 enrollment and the pre­vious year’s 48 percent male and 52 percent female enrollment.

“We’re getting really good — and I think we’ve always been good — on the yield side,” Senior Director of Admis­sions Zach Miller ’11 said, referring to the admis­sions department’s ability to recruit appli­cants. “And the fact that Hillsdale is becoming a little more popular as an insti­tution across the country — that helps us get the stu­dents we’re looking for.”

Miller said this year’s male-to-female ratio is unusual, espe­cially given the national trends. According to the National Center for Edu­cation Sta­tistics, females were expected to make up the majority of the nation’s college and uni­versity stu­dents in fall 2018, with 11.2 million total female enrollees and 8.7 million male enrollees.

“Usually the classes are larger for women, and that’s gen­erally the way it’s been at Hillsdale the past couple years,” Miller said. “That’s not some­thing we aim to do. It’s the way the appli­ca­tions kind of fleshed out at the end of the day.”

All the data is only pre­lim­inary and will not be offi­cially con­firmed until mid-Sep­tember, but according to Miller, the pre­lim­inary data tends to be “on target” with the official records.

Addi­tionally, the college drew only 25 percent of its stu­dents from Michigan, the smallest per­centage in the college’s records to date. Records from the past seven years show the per­centage of Michigan stu­dents in the low 30s.

Miller attributed the declining per­centage of Michigan-native stu­dents to Hillsdale’s growing national rep­u­tation and to the fact that this is the second year the admis­sions department has had four regional admis­sions coun­selors who reside in their respective areas of recruitment: one in Cal­i­fornia, one in Texas, and two in Wash­ington, D.C.

Freshman Jaime Boerema said having an admis­sions coun­selor was helpful during her tran­sition to Hillsdale.

“I knew I wanted to be here, but cer­tainly having support in admis­sions and having contact with people at the college makes me feel like I’m having an easier tran­sition,” Boerema said. “I think having a good rapport with your admis­sions coun­selor is def­i­nitely an important part of going to the school you want to go to.”

Boerema is from Michigan and was put on the admis­sions waitlist after applying to Hillsdale.

“I know it was really hard to get in this past year, and I feel really blessed to have made it off the waitlist,” Boerema said. “I think that is encour­agement and incentive for me to work that much harder.”

The class of 2022 also had a slightly lower average on the ACT, scoring 30.16 out of 36, down from 30.26 in 2017. But the freshman class did average slightly higher on high school GPAs with a 3.89 average, up from last year’s 3.87. Miller said the scores speak for a “very strong” aca­demic class and that it is the goal of admis­sions to bring in the “best stu­dents in the country.”

“It’s an honor really to know I came out of that pool,” freshman Jack Coker said, “which is good because I only applied to Hillsdale and didn’t apply any­where else. I put all the eggs in one basket.”

Miller added that the admis­sions department is excited about this year’s freshman class because bringing the stu­dents to campus is the result of over a year of hard work.

“Ori­en­tation Sunday is always like our Christmas,” he said, “because we get to welcome these kids that we’ve talked to and worked with, and we get to see their excitement of starting their journey at Hillsdale.”


  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    Great article Ms. Conrad, but please explain-why the smaller class size at 357 when Hillsdale College is tar­geting 390 on the top end? I would think you’d want every opening filled from a spreading the cost per­spective? What am I missing?

    • Camus53

      “What am I missing?”

      You could start with a degree from Hillsdale…I’ll leave the rest unsaid.

      • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

        Boorish, rude and unpleasant to be around is no way to go through life. If you can’t con­tribute pos­i­tively to the dis­cussion give your fin­gertips a sab­batical, sumaC.

        • BradinAZ

          Oh, I’m sure AY has lis­tened to a lot of Hillsdale ads on the Salem Radio Network and maybe he even took one of the free Con­sti­tution courses offered by the school. That’s prac­ti­cally the same as attending for four years isn’t it?

          • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

            What are you the ‘Amen Chorus’ for our res­ident fool? He needs no help looking foolish, he’s per­fectly capable of doing it by himself.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            I think the point is that what the college is mar­keted as these days is widely departed from a) what it used to be b) what it coild/should be. The result is a san­i­tized token effort to be a lot of things that sound great to feaux-wealthy, angrily-elderly, unques­tion­ingly reli­gious, knee-jerking patri­otism types… but really isn’t honest or even very prac­tical in real life. I’m fine if you comment here, it’s a free country, but like these other fellows, I’m going to counter the false nar­ra­tives I see in these stories.

          • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

            I have no problem with debate and dis­cussion. I welcome it, because through open airing of thoughts and view­points we arrive at truths.

            But, the per­sonal attacks are not input. For that reason I’ve blocked both those posters. When they’re ready to grow up and con­tribute pos­i­tively to the dis­cussion, I’ll recon­sider.

          • BradinAZ

            Appar­ently the snowflakes are falling early in Michigan.

        • Camus53

          You are a political trollup who’s found what he thinks is a safe place to blather here on the Col­legian.

          If you were a Hillsdale grad, I might say more power to you.
          You’re not, as others have also pointed out. No inter­lopers here…run along and play some­where else.

          • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

            ‘trollup’, lol. You come up with that yourself or you look it up in ‘Infantile Argu­ments for Dummies’? I’m still trying to figure out what you add to these forums besides anchoring the curve for other posters? Word of advice, IF you indeed you are a Hillsdale College grad don’t advertise the fact in your posts. Prospective stu­dents might be reading.

          • Camus53

            My Hillsdale… a true beacon of free thinking… ceased to be what it was a long while ago. Just as true Con­ser­vatism did.

            Trollup.…made you google that…lol. Young adults inter­ested in Hillsdale need only do the same, google Hillsdale, and come to their own con­clu­sions. You cer­tainly don’t have to fear my influ­encing them…any more than your trum­peter tomes do.

            Now, without doubt, being known as Rush Limbaugh’s college of choice that should influence stu­dents who do value critical thinking and quality edu­cation to pos­sibly apply… else­where.