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Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn addresses the incoming Freshman Class of 2023. Mar­keting Department | Courtesy

Once again, the incoming freshmen are the highest-per­forming class in Hillsdale College history. 

On paper, the Class of 2023 has the strongest aca­demic profile, according to the Admis­sions Department’s pre­lim­inary numbers.

The freshmen — 186 men and 178 women — have an average high school GPA of 3.91, up from last year’s 3.89. Their average ACT score, 31, was sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the pre­vious record of 30.26 in 2017.

As Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn said in his Freshman Con­vo­cation speech, the incoming class is full of “ambi­tious, active stu­dents.” 

But Arnn also reminded the freshmen that the Hillsdale expe­rience is much dif­ferent from — and harder than — other schooling.

“It’s not prac­tical to come here,” Arnn said. “You have to take yourself out of the world for four years. You have to make it with your whole heart, or else go some­where easier.”

The 364 members of the Class of 2023 fit in the college’s goal range of 360 – 380 stu­dents per class. The admission rate tied last year’s all-time low of 37%, a number which Senior Director of Admis­sions Zack Miller said can be attributed to the growing interest in Hillsdale from around the country.

“We haven’t changed the type of student that we are recruiting,” Miller said. “What has changed is Hillsdale’s pop­u­larity across the country and the number of inter­ested stu­dents in a clas­sical liberal arts edu­cation. Because there are no other schools like Hillsdale out there, we’re seeing more stu­dents want to attend.”

Although the per­centage of stu­dents from Michigan was not as low as last year’s record 25%, it remained lower than per­centages from the pre­vious 7 years at just 29%. The remaining 71% of the class comes from 37 other states and 8 other coun­tries.

Miller said that while interest and expe­ri­ences of incoming classes vary, they all share the college’s values.

“Even though the aca­demic profile of those stu­dents has increased over the last five years, what hasn’t changed is their com­mitment to Hillsdale’s mission, desire to pursue a rig­orous clas­sical liberal arts edu­cation, and excitement to involve them­selves in our campus com­munity,” he said.

Freshman Kate Lawson reit­erated this sen­timent, saying that she was attracted to Hillsdale because of the college’s com­mitment to their mission.

“Because my high school was affil­iated with Hillsdale, I got to expe­rience a bit of the college through my school and my teachers,” Lawson said. “So every other school I visited I was com­paring to Hillsdale, and I found that no other school I went to stated its mission as clearly, and fol­lowed through as deeply on it, as Hillsdale does.”

Freshman Nathaniel Balet said that when he visited, he was impressed with how dif­ferent Hillsdale was from other schools and how helpful the people were. 

“I talked to my admis­sions rep­re­sen­tative Vic­toria Watson a lot,” Balet said. “She was great. As she was going to Philadelphia, she even came out of her way to come to my school that is in the middle of nowhere in west Penn­syl­vania.”

Balet added that his campus tour guide, senior Isaac Johnson, was “the best tour guide I’d ever had.”  

“Isaac made me realize that most col­leges nowadays are more like a business, but Hillsdale is not that,” Balet said.

Lawson said her expe­rience with a former Hillsdale pro­fessor was just an example of the care that Hillsdale faculty and staff show their stu­dents.

“I asked Dr. Sam Negus ques­tions about the college before my first visit, and in response to my one question, he orga­nized my entire visit for me. And that’s just one example of what Hillsdale people will do, whether or not they are in Hillsdale.”

 

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    Great news, the exclu­sivity of the College is increasing year by year. Direc­tionally correct.

    When are we going to get an update on the Chapel? I can’t wait to enjoy the asso­ciated com­ments from the anti-reli­gious crowd! What can I say? It’s the air I breath and the water I drink.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    Same article written year after year. Its the air and water for the lake wobegone crowd of unques­tioning syco­phants

    • Jerry Tabac

      They just enjoy your knee-jerk critical reaction, to be honest. You’re as dependable as Pavlov’s dog’s saliva glands; or anal glands, I can never remember which.

      • Jen­nifer Melfi

        it’s def­i­nitely the saliva… not sure what kind of history you read, or if your memory is leaving you. That is a pretty odd mistake to make. Your focus is telling.

        • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

          It appears to me the one who has made the mistake is you, Jen­nifer Melfi-for taking on Jerry Tabac. You’re punching above your weight class.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            Are you saying that Mr. Tabac is over­weight?

          • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

            Having never met her I won’t make that judgement, but it’s clear you have an inflated view of yourself. (: ^)}

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            I am quite pleased with the record as it stands. Jerry is also def­i­nitely a man.

          • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

            How do you know? Her pic doesn’t look like it. I err on the side of caution when making judg­ments about people on internet forums, it’s better that way and you offend less people.

            You could be a man for all I know. Then again, you can remove all doubt-in my mind anyway-by meeting me for a snack and bev­erage at a Chargers game this fall. I’m exactly as I’ve stated-old, grey haired, dis­tin­guished (well grey haired and old anyways) guy who does research on electric cars for one of the Big 3-when I’m not com­menting on all and sundry on the internet.

            Hubba, hubba.

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            I guess I don’t know with 100% cer­tainty, but at least 95%. I may come down for a charger game this fall although I am probably more inter­ested in touring my old haunt rather than sitting in the stands. I will let you know when I come down.

          • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

            Cool. If you want to meet up, I’ll stand treat for snacks and bev­erages. I’m looking at sometime in late October to come down, I like it when the trees start to turn and I get a color tour heading to Hillsdale!

        • Jen­nifer Melfi

          also — you put the pos­sessive in “dogs’” in the wrong place.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    Mr. Balet, Hillsdale is run like a business, they have chosen the “leap of faith” model since 2015.

    • Jerry Tabac

      You forgot the ‘Mamon’ comment, let’s not deny this year’s read­ership of The Col­legian your nuggets, or ‘niblets’ of gold!

      • Jen­nifer Melfi

        Matthew 6:24 “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” Hillsdale has recently chose mammon, and you can see it in the stances they have taken with regard to reli­giosity. I had to post the ref­erence because, despite what the college pays to promote about them­selves, the kids there are mostly not reli­gious.

        • Jerry Tabac

          You make a lot of broad-brush state­ments, without sup­porting data. ‘the kids there are mostly not religious’…how do you know? The polls I’ve seen posted in this news­paper don’t support that statement. Maybe things have changed since you went to Hillsdale College? My goodness, that was 12 – 13 Pres­i­dents ago!

          • Jen­nifer Melfi

            It was 3 pres­i­dents ago. 13 years. I also reg­u­larly have contact with stu­dents at the college. They def­i­nitely skew atheist, but then again, I only deal with the smartest of Hillsdale stu­dents. If I were like you, and arguing what I read in the Imprimus and heavily edited/administrated Col­legian, I maybe would drink the same kool-aid that you do

      • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

        LOL ‘niblets’.