Officer Commissioning Ceremony

Freedom Scholarship

Exclusively for American Veterans

Private funding for a classical liberal arts education

Hillsdale offers veterans a unique opportunity to receive private funding for their bachelor’s degree, with benefits that may even exceed those available through the GI Bill. Hillsdale doesn’t accept any government funding, even in the form of federal grants (such as the GI Bill) or loans. To do so would result in a regulatory burden that would necessarily compromise the College’s principles. Instead, Hillsdale raises private monies to protect its independence and to provide for the education of students who, like us, believe in the pursuit of truth and the defense of liberty.

Freedom Scholarship Recipients

First preference for freedom scholarship funds is given to veterans of any branch of the United States military and can provide for costs relating to tuition, room, board, fees, and books at Hillsdale College.

Contingent upon fund availability and verified eligibility (in the form of a Certificate of Eligibility from the Office of Veterans Affairs), some scholarship may be awarded to the children of veterans who are eligible for Post-911 GI Bill Funds.

Hillsdale College admissions video behind the scenes, portraits and campus life on October 21, 2015.

An education in enduring truths.

The classical liberal arts education at Hillsdale will allow you to study things that matter and have for centuries: the good, the true, and the beautiful. Private citizens have contributed to the Freedom Scholarship because they believe in the lasting importance of such an education, and the asset it will become to men and women who have served our country honorably.

Hillsdale College Central Hall exterior.

An Honor Code for all students.

Hillsdale is an institution with a rich a patriotic history. It was founded by men and women “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings resulting from the prevalence of civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety in the land.” All of its students sign an Honor Code that animates campus life and orients student conduct towards self-government. The College is consistently ranked among the nation’s best for academic quality, and graduates leave equipped not only for vocational pursuit, but for the broader work of living virtuously.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I qualify for the Freedom Scholarship?

Veterans who have served honorably have earned the opportunity to apply for consideration. If you are admitted to Hillsdale, we’ll ask you to submit a copy of your DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and use it to reach a determination on the amount of financial assistance to be granted.

How do I apply?

You will follow the usual application process to the Hillsdale undergraduate program, being sure to reference your years of military service in your file. In addition to two required letters of recommendation from academic / civilian references, you will also be asked to submit a Commanding Officer Endorsement and your last two performance evaluations. A campus visit and admissions interview are highly recommended for all applicants soon after submission. If you are later admitted, a copy of your DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty will be a part of your financial aid consideration process.

Do I need an ACT/SAT score to apply?

If you never sat for the ACT or SAT in high school or soon after and have been out of high school for more than two years, you can apply for Freedom Scholarship consideration without submitting those results. Please contact Admissions to have the test score waived from your application checklist

Do you offer online degrees/courses?

All Hillsdale courses are currently taken in residence on the Hillsdale campus. No for-credit coursework is available online at this time.

Will you award credit for my military experience?

Your military experience is an advantage to you in the application process but will not result in any transfer of academic credit, which can only be made on an official transcript from an accredited college or university.

Will I live on campus?

Veterans will not typically live in traditional student residence halls, but in special housing near campus that allows them to enjoy the camaraderie and support of other veterans. Veterans with spouses or children can petition the Deans for off-campus permissions of their own.

What happens to my GI Bill?

When you are awarded a Hillsdale Freedom Scholarship, no funds from your GI Bill will be utilized. You will retain the benefit, and depending upon the duration and years of your service, you may be able to use it to fund an advanced degree, or later to help a family member with their education.

Who, exactly, is funding the scholarships?

The Freedom Scholarship is funded by private citizens—donors to Hillsdale College—who share in Hillsdale’s Mission to “develop the minds and improve the hearts” of students by teaching a classical liberal arts education free of government subsidy or interference.

Are scholarships for veterans also available at the graduate level?

Yes, scholarships are also available for veterans interested in enrolling in the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship, which offers an MA and a PhD in Politics. For more information, e-mail the Graduate School, or call (517) 607-2483. The graduate application process for veterans is the same as for any other graduate applicant, but you will want to be sure to indicate your military service at the appropriate point on the application form.


Please phone or email Admissions and we’ll be glad to help.

(517) 607-2327  [email protected]

Learn More

We’re looking for a few outstanding veterans who are excited by the prospect of studying the best of the Western Tradition. To learn more about Hillsdale, please fill out our “Request Information” form.

Request Information about Veteran benefits