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Wall Street Journal, Flickr

The Wall Street Journal released its list of top col­leges this week, but Hillsdale College did not appear among the nearly 1,000 uni­ver­sities and private schools men­tioned.

Hillsdale has demon­strated its merit to the Journal. The Journal’s edi­torial board staffs Hillsdale jour­nalism alumni, and stu­dents and faculty fre­quently appear in its pages.

The Journal’s senior com­mu­ni­ca­tions director Steve Sev­er­inghaus told the Col­legian that Hillsdale was excluded from its top col­leges list because it “does not par­tic­ipate in the federal student aid program.” This means that, to be con­sidered, a school must submit certain infor­mation to the Department of Edu­cation, including data on federal student loan rates and the eth­nic­ities of stu­dents and faculty. Doing this would undermine Hillsdale’s mission, which relies on remaining unfet­tered from gov­ernment inter­ference.  

Other college infor­mation ser­vices, like the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review, include Hillsdale in their rankings. Instead of relying on infor­mation pro­vided by the federal gov­ernment, these orga­ni­za­tions reach out to schools indi­vid­ually. The WSJ should do the same.

Hillsdale’s rela­tionship with the Journal should be more than enough to merit con­sid­er­ation, regardless of whether the college accepts federal funds. But Hillsdale’s aca­demic stan­dards and selective admit­tance rates also surpass many of the schools listed in the Journal’s rankings.

The Journal claims its ranking puts “student success and learning at its heart.” If that’s the case, it shouldn’t keep its readers in the dark about a top-ranked college com­mitted to its stu­dents’ growth and excel­lence.