Larry Arnn speaking during the 2014 Freshman Convocation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the academic profile of incoming freshmen?

In the fall of 2019, the middle 50% ACT scores were 29-33, the middle 50% SAT scores were 1310-1450, and the middle 50% GPA was a 3.89-4.0 (weighted).

Does a completed application require a standardized test?

It does. We accept the SAT, the ACT, or the CLT. We do not have a preference. The Admissions Office does not super-score (take the highest sub-section from multiple tests to form a new composite score).

Learn More: Application Process

How are applications reviewed?

The Admissions Office considers the following: GPA, rigor of high school coursework, ACT/CLT/SAT scores (we will accept any one and will consider the highest composite score if you have taken one or more tests numerous times), extracurricular involvement (leadership and volunteerism are important), interview, writing samples, and letters of recommendation.

Where should I send application materials (those not submitted online)?

Transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other accompanying application paperwork should be emailed to [email protected] or mailed directly to:

Admissions Office
Hillsdale College
33 E College St.
Hillsdale, MI 49242

When should I apply to Hillsdale College?

For students who wish to enter college in the Fall 2020 semester, we recommend that a student apply to Hillsdale College (and submit all application materials) by January 1, 2020 to meet our priority scholarship consideration. Applications are accepted up until April 1, 2020.

If you wish to apply under our Early Decision option, your application and all supporting documents are due by November 1, 2019. You will be notified of our decision in early December.

When will I hear of my admissions decision?

We need four weeks to make our decision. The first regular decision letters will go out on December 15, so if you have completed your application on or before November 15, you will hear at that time. After December 15, it will be rolling.

For example, if you finished your application on February 4 we will send our decision by March 4.

What courses do you recommend I take in high school?

Above all, Hillsdale College encourages high school students to follow a college preparatory curriculum that demonstrates academic motivation, ambition, and achievement. An aggressive college preparatory curriculum should include:

  • 4 years of English
  • 4 years of math
  • 3 years of biological and physical science
  • 3 years of history/social science
  • At least 2 years of a foreign language

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate Program (IB) courses are given special attention in the selection process.

Does Hillsdale accept Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or CLEP credit?

More information about transferring credit by exam is available on the Registrar’s pages.

How much is the deposit?

Should you decided to enroll at Hillsdale College, we require a non-refundable deposit of $300 to hold your place. This money is applied to your student account.

If I was homeschooled, do I need to apply differently?

Applicants who have been homeschooled through high school may submit a third letter of recommendation from their primary educator (even if your primary education is a parent). The other letters should come from people who are not related to you, but can speak to your character, work ethic, and academic ability.

Any transcripts submitted by a student’s parent or homeschool co-op should include course titles, number of credits, and the grades received. Cumulative GPA should also be included.

Students may include additional course descriptions and/or reading lists, but any descriptions should be brief.

Is there an advantage to applying Early Decision?

The likelihood of a student being awarded admission and/or scholarship does not increase if a student applies Early Decision, though it does increase slightly if a student applies early. The student need not apply under the binding commitment of Early Decision, but instead should complete his or her application by mid-November to receive the least competitive consideration.

If admitted, may I defer my admissions or take a gap year?

We do not allow applicants to defer their application or to take a gap year, though exceptions are made. A formal request must be made to your Admissions counselor. The letter or email should explain why a student is taking a gap year, and how it will help prepare them for a liberal arts education.

Are there study abroad programs?

We have study abroad opportunities in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Spain, and Argentina. About 20% of students take advantage of those opportunities. Some of the programs are also offered (in an abbreviated way) during the summer.

Hillsdale College also has an extensive internship/study program in Washington D.C. (WHIP).

Though there is flexibility, we recommend that you study abroad your junior year.

How much does it cost to attend Hillsdale?

Total cost for the 2019-2020 school year (assuming that a student lives on campus and participates in the highest meal plan) is $39,758. For two semesters, tuition is $27,090, room & board is $11,390, and general fees are $1,278. Remember that most students do not pay full price.

Learn More: Tuition and Costs

How do I apply for merit-based scholarship?

You are automatically considered for merit-based scholarship when you apply for admission to Hillsdale College. You do not need to apply separately. When you hear of admission you will be also be notified of scholarship. The strength of your application is important for both.

When should I visit Hillsdale? Which visit option should I choose?

The Admissions Office is open for visits all year, with a few exceptions. Students may visit during the summer to tour campus and speak with an Admissions Counselor. During the year there are more options, including opportunities to sit in on classes and/or spend the night in a residence hall.

We also offer visit day programs. These are a great introduction to the college and are slightly less personalized than an individual visit. Visit For those students traveling a great distance who do not expect to revisit the college, we recommend an individual visit.

Prospective students are hosted by a Hillsdale College Student Ambassador.

All visit options and the availability of those options can be found below.

Schedule A Visit

What is there to do for fun?

With more than 75% of our students coming from out of state, the campus is a lively place. Our Student Activities Board plans events both large and small to give students a break from their studies, opportunities to make to friends and build community, to get involved in things they love, or to try something new. Follow them on Instagram: @hillsdale_sab for more information.

You can also check out the list of clubs.

Is Hillsdale an NCAA DII college?

Yes! If you are an athlete hoping to play for one of our teams, we recommend that you check out the athletics page and fill out the recruit questionnaire for each sport you wish to play.