Hillsdale Col­lege’s Central Hall. Nicole Ault | Col­legian

Hillsdale jumped another 10 points in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 ranking of the 100 Best National Liberal Arts Col­leges, at 54th in the country, and The Col­legian was recently ranked fifth in college news­papers in the country by Princeton Review. 

The Wall Street Journal’s annual ranking of the best col­leges in the nation, however, excluded Hillsdale yet again from its list. 

The Journal has ranked nearly 800 col­leges across the nation every year for the past 16 years, from Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale to the Uni­versity of Texas at Austin and the Uni­versity of Wis­consin-Madison. It’s a fed­er­alized selection in terms of geog­raphy, but in terms of federal funding, the Journal’s ranking system is iron­i­cally cen­tralized. 

A handful of Hillsdale alumni work at the Journal, too. Yet because of one deter­mining factor, the Journal’s reliance on data from federal data­bases that don’t include Hillsdale, the college is excluded from the Journal’s rankings. Because Hillsdale does not accept federal funds, Hillsdale student data is not listed in those data­bases, which let users compare schools and from where WSJ draws its rankings.

The Wall Street Journal is one of the last remaining main­stream pub­li­ca­tions that has not become a leftist echo chamber. It is praised by con­ser­v­a­tives, cen­trists, and mod­erate Democrats for con­tinuing to uphold free-market prin­ciples. So why is the most free college in the country excluded from their rankings?

Hillsdale College’s decision to not accept federal funding is exactly the free-market option for edu­cation that a pub­li­cation like the Wall Street Journal should cel­e­brate.