Best College Reviews ranked Hillsdale College as number one out of all the col­leges that they ranked. Courtesy.

Hillsdale College was named one of the best small col­leges in the United States earlier this month. 

In a new ranking from Best College Reviews, an inde­pendent college review journal,  Hillsdale College topped a list of 50 small liberal-arts schools. Best College Reviews cited the quality of the student body and aca­d­emics as a deciding factor.

“Of the hun­dreds of schools that were eval­uated, Hillsdale placed at the top of the list of Top 50 Small Col­leges, because it not only met but exceeded the cri­teria,” Best College Review Editor Julia McCaulley said in an email. “From the quality and value of the edu­cation to its amazing campus atmos­phere to its rich and pro­gressive history, Hillsdale really is a fan­tastic place for stu­dents seeking an edu­cation that will lead them to a bright future.”

In a news release from  Best College Reviews, the organization’s cri­teria favored insti­tu­tions with 500 – 2,000 under­graduate stu­dents, the avail­ability of campus housing, the graduate degrees offered, a graduate rate greater than 50 percent, a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 or less, a 74 percent or higher retention rate, and tuition costs no more than $30,000.

“Retention is an incredible 96 percent, and grad­uates are known to be artic­ulate and suc­cessful people,” the Best College Review said. “The Hillsdale College motto, ‘Strength rejoices in the chal­lenge,’ is fitting indeed. There is no doubt that the excel­lence of a Hillsdale edu­cation places it at the top of the list as the best small college in the nation.”

Other schools on the list included nearby Andrews Uni­versity in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Bethel College in Indiana.

Although College Pres­ident Larry Arnn said he was not familiar with most of the schools on the list, he said he was sat­isfied to see Hillsdale in the No. 1 spot.

“I do not know enough about nearly all of them to judge in detail,” Arnn said, “but I think we are one of the best, and I think we have certain qual­ities to a superior degree.” 

Best College Reviews stated it was “started with the explicit goal of com­peting with U.S. News & World Report as an author­i­tative, objective, and edi­to­rially inde­pendent college review journal,” according to its website.

Hillsdale College has con­sis­tently placed on U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best College Rankings. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Hillsdale as the 83rd best liberal-arts college in the nation.

Senior Director of Admis­sions Zack Miller said he was humbled by Best College Review’s ranking and that the honor is the result of a team effort across campus.

“When Hillsdale’s name appears in national rankings like this, it’s really a tes­tament to many things — the stu­dents, the faculty, the staff, the cur­riculum, and so on,” Miller said. “How those things come together to support and further the college’s mission is pretty special and sets Hillsdale apart from a lot of other insti­tu­tions. We see this every day on campus, but it is also nice to see folks outside of Hillsdale rec­ognize it.”

The full rankings can be seen at

“The word college means part­nership,” Arnn said.  “All excel­lence in any orga­ni­zation, but espe­cially in a college, is achieved by people working together toward the goal. We do that mighty well here, and all are to be thanked.”

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Collegian Editor-in-Chief, Thomas Novelly was born in Novi, Michigan, but was raised in Franklin, Tennessee, making him a self-proclaimed "Yankee gone South." Thomas began writing for The Collegian as a sophomore, and since has served as a reporter, columnist, and Assistant City News Editor. He has also worked for two major publications, interning at the Washington Free Beacon in D.C. and The Tennessean in Nashville. His work has been seen in National publications such as CBS News, National Review Online, Stars And Stripes, and USA Today. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.