Remaining Dutiful to Studies and Service: Hillsdale Makes High Marks in The Princeton Review Rankings

Written by Stephanie Gordon

Each year, The Princeton Review collects data from 143,000 college students from 386 colleges across America. Out of those 386 colleges, Hillsdale has remained in the top 20 for several categories over the years. This remained true for 2020, as Hillsdale ranked in the top 20 of 12 subcategories related to academics and student life – improving in Most Engaged in Community Service and Professors Get High Marks.

It’s not surprising that the College was up one from 2019 at No. 3 for Most Engaged in Community Service, a category that is based on how strongly students agree that the students at their school are committed to community service, according to The Princeton Review. The Great Opportunities for Assistance and Leadership (GOAL) Program at the College helps students get involved in the Hillsdale community through programs and organizations like A Few Good Men, Love INC, and Gier Reading Buddies to name a few. Throughout the history of the GOAL Program, Hillsdale students have documented over 10,000 hours of volunteer service to the local community.

“I believe that being away from campus last spring caused students to have an increased appreciation for both Hillsdale College and the Hillsdale community,” said GOAL Program Director Maya Kaniaupio. “Because of this, students were even more excited to get involved with all 24 of our GOAL volunteering programs when the fall semester came around.”

Kaniaupio said more than 500 students are involved in the GOAL Program. Some of the more popular organizations students are involved with are Crossroads Farm, A Few Good Men, Community Health, Young Life, and Adopt-a-Grandparent. Even with the curveballs that were thrown in 2020, Kaniaupio said the GOAL leaders were extremely passionate about finding new and creative ways to meet the program’s needs while safely operating within COVID-19 regulations.

“This included sending letters to community members and holding virtual volunteering events,” said Kaniaupio. “Students even created new GOAL programs by partnering with organizations like Love INC and Hillsdale food banks. This year, I would love to continue helping all of our GOAL programs move safely past the COVID-19 restrictions to return to their normal volunteering operations and more fully meet the needs of the community. Additionally, I would love to make more community connections within Hillsdale County as a college campus.”

Along with the high community service ranking, Hillsdale was up two from 2019 at No. 10 for Professors Get High Remarks. According to The Princeton Review, students agree that professors are interesting and bring their material to life.

“Hillsdale College has a clear and distinct Mission Statement which informs everything we do, including the hiring of faculty,” said Dr. Mark Kalthoff, dean of faculty and professor and chairman of history. “Consequently, Hillsdale faculty enthusiastically teaches in light of the College’s mission ‘to develop the minds and improve the hearts’ of our students. This shared faculty commitment translates into contagious enthusiasm for teaching and genuine affection for students. For this they earn high marks.”

In addition to the improved rank in Most Engaged in Community Service and Professors Get High Marks, the College’s highest rankings included:

  • No. 3 for Most Engaged in Community Service (up one from 2019)
  • No. 3 for Future Rotarians and DAR
  • No. 3 for Most Conservative Students
  • No. 5 for Best College Newspaper
  • No. 7 for Most Religious Students
  • No. 10 for Professors Get High Marks (up two from 2019)
  • No. 12 for Most Politically Active Students
  • No. 14 for Most Accessible Professors
  • No. 15 for Best-Run Colleges

With these high rankings for 2020, there’s no doubt that Hillsdale students are passionate about what Hillsdale stands for and all it has to offer. Kaniaupio said it is important for students to be involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities in order to fully obtain an impactful college experience.

“I think that Hillsdale students are especially willing to get involved because of their understanding that much of their education occurs outside of the classroom,” said Kaniaupio. “Hillsdale students are expected to be ‘dutiful’ in both our studies and our service to others, as the honor code points out. Volunteering, when done with the right attitude, benefits the volunteer just as much as those they are helping. Hillsdale students possess a heart for service and diligence to commit to their education outside of just their classes.

To view the College’s profile by The Princeton Review, click here.

Stephanie Gordon, a lifelong Hillsdale native, is the Managing Editor of the Student Stories Blog. She is married to chiropractor, Dr. Matt Gordon, and has three children – Eloise, Flora, and Jack. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys paleo baking, floating on Baw Beese Lake, and breaking a sweat at the gym.

Published in July 2021