Why doesn’t Hillsdale accept any federal or state taxpayer subsidies?
In 1975, the federal government said that Hillsdale had to sign a form stating that we did not discriminate on the basis of sex. Hillsdale College had never discriminated on any basis, and had never accepted federal taxpayer subsidies of any sort, so the College felt no obligation to comply, fearing that doing so would open the door to additional federal mandates and control. Our trustees pledged two things: first, that the College would continue its long-standing policy of non-discrimination, and second, that it would not accept any encroachments on its independence. The case went to court, and Hillsdale College won a partial victory, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals did rule that Hillsdale College was an “indirect recipient” of federal funding because of participation in federal grant and loan programs. In 1984, Grove City College in Pennsylvania fought and lost a similar legal battle. The case then went to the Supreme Court, and in Grove City v. Bell, it was determined that if even one student received a federal grant or loan, it made that institution a direct recipient of federal funds. To avoid the hassles of government control, Hillsdale College announced its decision to end participation in all federal financial aid programs in 1985.
In 2007, Hillsdale announced that it would no longer accept State of Michigan taxpayer subsidies earmarked for student financial aid, thereby making the College completely independent of taxpayer support.