Nicole Ault | Col­legian

Hillsdale College received high marks from the Princeton Review in their 2020 college rankings.

Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn said that while the college’s worth cannot be reduced to a sin­gular numerical measure, there is value to the Review’s rankings and that it’s nice to be rec­og­nized.

“We like it, and then we get back to work,” Arnn said.

The Princeton Review also named the Hillsdale Col­legian the third-best college news­paper nationally, an improvement on its fifth place ranking from the 2017 – 2018 school year.

“This national recog­nition is a won­derful tribute to our excellent and hard­working student jour­nalists,” John Miller, director of the Dow Jour­nalism Program, said in an email.

Hillsdale College pro­fessors ranked espe­cially high. The college received a No. 12 ranking for Pro­fessors Get High Marks and  for No. 13 Most Acces­sible Pro­fessors. Former Dean of Faculty Daniel Cou­pland said the high rankings of pro­fessors came as no sur­prise to him.

“The reason we scored so high is because of the quality of people we attract,” Cou­pland said. “The hiring process here is pretty rig­orous. It’s a demanding process. We get a lot of good people who are attracted to a liberal arts insti­tution and higher ed and stu­dents.”

Cou­pland attributed the high rankings for pro­fessor acces­si­bility to the structure of the college.

“You don’t really have to preach it,” Cou­pland said. “I don’t ever recall over the last two years ever having to tell a faculty member, ‘You need to reach out to your stu­dents more, or you need to be more acces­sible to stu­dents.’” 

Hillsdale’s student body also ranked on a number of dif­ferent lists. Hillsdale was rated second in the nation for Most Con­ser­v­ative Stu­dents and fourth for Most Reli­gious Stu­dents. Arnn said that while no ques­tions are asked about pol­itics or religion on the college’s appli­cation for admission, Hillsdale is open about the ideals and values of the college. 

“We argue that you have to study God if you’re going to study nature,” Arnn said. “Whether you’re reading pagan phi­losophy or Jewish phi­losophy or Christian the­ology, God is at the top. You have to study that. And, then you have our com­mitment to the Christian faith. We require stu­dents to respect that they don’t have to share it.”

As for the political ranking, Arnn said there’s no denying that the college has a con­ser­v­ative rep­u­tation. He dis­courages, however, anyone from choosing Hillsdale solely on that basis. 

“I always say you don’t even know what that word is,” Arnn said. “You should come to find out. Well, they find out and that pro­duces some­thing. I’ve read that stu­dents today, their time horizon goes back four years to when they got their first iphone or some­thing. Our stu­dents don’t have that time horizon; they have a longer one, and we hope that they develop an eternal one.”

Various student orga­ni­za­tions were rec­og­nized for their hard work. The college is fourth in the nation for Stu­dents Most Engaged in Com­munity Service, the same ranking it received last year. GOAL Director junior Michaela Peine said that while the ranking is a nice con­fir­mation of GOAL’s work in the com­munity, it’s not the program’s main focus. 

“If we can connect stu­dents to pro­grams that can benefit the com­munity, that’s what we focus on,” Peine said. “It’s nice to hear our work is being rec­og­nized, but we feel a lot of freedom to not chase that.”