Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hillsdale College: No Federal Monies Wanted

One black cheerleader, woohoo!

So, BIDER readers may know, that I frequent the conservative talk talk radio stations to infiltrate and report back. But, I am a liberatarian, so I am sometimes impressed by the shows. Other times, I want to vomit from the amount of ignorance and hate conservative talk radio propogates.  I actually heard something that made me smile yesterday and I had to do a little digging to find out if its true.  Have you heard of Hillsdale College?  Until yesterday, nor had I.  Well, the pitch on Rush's show was "A college that encourages conservative financial values by not accepting federal loans.  Please call and donate so that we can provide loans to needy students."  WOW, says I.  That's great.  It's a school taking a stand on federal loan monies.... but that begs the question; why?  In my world, where Queen Angel reigns supreme, federal loan money would be available to those students that pursue worthwhile degrees (ones that will lead to good employment) and schools that can't shape their curriculum to reflect the needs of the job market will close the doors from lack of "customers". But, I could never imagine a scenario where the school does not want "free" federal money.  So, I was a bit suspicious. Is it really a decision that Hillsdale made because of its belief in conservative financial values?

A quick perusal of the school's website tells a different story:
Hillsdale's modern rise to prominence occurred in the 1970s. On the pretext that some of its students were receiving federal loans, the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare attempted to interfere with the College's internal affairs, including a demand that Hillsdale begin counting its students by race. Hilldale... responded with two toughly worded resolutions: One, the college would continue its policy of non-discrimination. Two,"with the help of God," it would resist, by all legal means, any encroachment on its independence.
Following almost a decade of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against Hillsdale in 1984.  By this time, the College had announced that rather than complying with unconstitutional federal regulation, it would instruct its students that they no longer bring federal taxpayer money to Hillsdale. Instead, the College would replace that aid with private contributions.

Hmmm... This sounds more like a race thing and less like an encouragement of fiscal responsibility. I was ready to promote Hillsdale as a place to exercise your own "fiscal conservative policy," but they couched this argument all wrong. Why is it so hard to provide your stats???? How many blacks, asians, Hispanics does this school have enrolled there? I guess we'll never know.  And with a whopping tuition (plus room and board) of $28K, they are hardly giving anything away or fiscally conservative. 

I wish I lived near this college. I would love to see what they are hiding.


  1. More proof that law schools do not actually teach critical thinking

  2. A libertarian favoring federal financing of education? Doesn't sound very libertarian to me.

    Libertarian Platform 2.8: Education

    Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity
    of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children's education.

  3. I don't think they're hiding anything. It's just like Grove City College.

  4. Hillsdale and Grove City are right-wing religious colleges. Neither school has much diversity and I'd be surprised if anyone at either of these schools is openly gay. I find it interesting that a lot of libertarians like to talk about freedom and choice while at the same time being anti-abortion and anti-gay rights. I've even met some libertarians who are pro-war. While I am libertarian on most social issues, the right-wing libertarians don't seem to care about freedom when it comes to anything other than their checkbook and smoking pot.

  5. I echo the sentiments of the first two commentors. Hillsdale College was the first American college to prohibit in its charter any discrimination based on race, religion or sex, and became an early force for the abolition of slavery--a fact of which the students I've met who attend the school are quite proud, and which is described on the school's "History and Mission" page.

    Just for the record, I'm not sure if your last comment about the cost of attendance (not the tuition, which is ~10,000K less than the figure you mentioned) was intended to be humorous, but that price is well within range of comparable schools (and has nothing to do with fiscal conservatism). In fact, referencing the school's website for ease, "College Choice Report puts Hillsdale on its list of '101 Best College and University Values' and in 2006, The Princeton Review included Hillsdale College in 'America’s Best Value Colleges' and in its list of the 'Top 10 Best Value–Private Colleges.'" The average student receives a great deal of financial aid as well; I'm sure the figure is readily available at the Admission's page.

    If you are willing to accept inappropriate government control either because it seems to favor your particular views or because it doesn't seem terribly onerous, you are no friend of liberty. As Revolutionary War Patriot Simeon Howard told a Boston artillery company, “An incautious people may submit to these demands, one after another, till its liberty is irrevocably gone, before they saw the danger. Injuries small in themselves, may in their consequences be fatal to those who submit to them; especially if they are persisted in. And, with respect to such injuries, we should ever act upon that ancient maxim of prudence; obstra principiis. The first unjust demands of an encroaching power should be firmly withstood..."

    Since Hillsdale took it's bold stand, the government's demands have increased far beyond mere data reporting. As a public school student I cannot tell you how much vapid nonsense I am forced, by the requirement or "incentive" of the federal government, to endure on a daily basis. While Hillsdale College isn't perfect and apparently not your particular idea of what a college should be, the students and faculty who teach there are *free*. Free to teach and learn as they please, regardless of what anyone else (including someone like yourself) wants to impose on them. And that, my supposed libertarian friend, is what liberty is all about.

    (Someone who actually knows something about Hillsdale College)

    P.S.: Before the invective comes, a short biographical note: I applied and was accepted to Hillsdale a couple years ago, but personal circumstances at home prevented me from attending. Nonetheless I maintain friendship with the students whom I've met there, who are a fine set of folks. I wrote this to set the record straight for those unfortunate enough to stumble upon this page in a Google search, as I had.

    1. Amen! (I recently applied to Hillsdale, and is my #1 choice if accepted.)

  6. As a long time lawyer, I've read this blog off and on, and posted several things that I considered relevant and perhaps helpful to its readers.

    I was sorry to read the post about Hillsdale College.

    Were all the typos and inaccuracies intended?

    Were they some sort of sarcasm?

    I also regret that the author of this blog sees the world through the eyes of race and sexual identity. Really ... judging a college by a photo of its cheerleaders?

    If this passes as the norm for people who complain about law school, I think most of their problems may be in the mirror.

  7. Maybe you should visit the college and see what it is actually about, rather than making hasty judgments based on a website and an outdated picture of cheerleaders. In fact, when is that picture from? Hillsdale actually just brought back the cheerleading program this fall, so I'm pretty sure it's not recent. If Hillsdale is so racist, I'm wondering why Federick Douglass was a supporter....

  8. I attended Hillsdale College, and graduated in '02. It is a great private school. Having studied at a variety of public and private schools and in England, Hillsdale remains the great educational experience of my life. Small class sizes, an outstanding classical curriculum, an impressive lecture series (I remember listening to Benazir Bhutto talk there, before her assasination), and incredibly engaged Professors (I remember many weekend parties at professors' houses, and parties to which profs were invited, where we started drinking wine and ended up debating Nietzsche or Cicero or Plato all night. Try that at your average public school). It is true that the student body is largely white, but the great diversity of thought encouraged in the classroom, and the emphasis on fundamental liberties would make anyone feel comfortable there. Hillsdale was one of the first schools in the country to ban in its charter discrimination. I actually did have an openly gay friend at the "Dale, by the way....not a common thing there, but definitely possible. He was a fairly popular student. Thanks for the forum....

  9. What typos, 1:07? I didn't see any. Maybe you don't like the way I write. i stand by my post. I am suspicious. That's the point. Nothing more and nothing less.

  10. Hillsdale does have its drawbacks. It is rural (although quite austere in its beauty, with Jeffersonian-style architecture), and a good hour from any decent size city like Ann Arbor or Lansing. There isn't a lot to do there besides study. I don't think racism is one of its problems, however.

  11. Also, I am an outspoken atheist, and never felt out of place at Hillsdale. The comment about Hillsdale being a "right wing religious college" is complete nonsense. It is a libertarian-leaning, Greco-Roman college tolerant of religion. I never remember hearing the word "God" in any of my classes excepting Philosophy. Had there been, I surely would have left.

  12. Hillsdale also operates Hillsdale Academy, which boasts a whopping 36 average ACT score. Top 1 percent in the nation, I believe.

  13. I went to Hillsdale. They aren't hiding anything. I learned more my freshmen year than i did in graduate school. Do a little research before you question the college in that manner.

  14. To the penultimate poster: A 36 on the ACT is a perfect score, and what's more, fewer than a thousand students nationwide receive said score annually. Therefore, your claim that all Hillsdale students are flawless test-takers is so extremely improbable as to be presumably incorrect.

    To the article's author: Look on the bright side. At least the low racial diversity and institutionalized heterosexism (administration recently banned gay organizations from campus) of the school can act as a red flag to prospective students. If they only want white, heterosexual students, that's their loss, not ours.

  15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsdale_Academy. According to Wiki. 36 ACT. If you believe such liberal sites.

  16. Why is your primary concern racial diversity and gay organizations? What about scholarship and non-descrimintation? Hillsdale doesn't play ball with political correctness. Nor does it need to: Frederick Douglass was in residency here, and Hillsdale educated blacks before the Civil War. Name a more non-racist instititution (Oberlin, maybe which beat us to it).

  17. Google that, anonymous. "Hillsdale Academy". Hillsdale Academy is a highly rigorous school, as is Hillsdale College. Your statistics are flat-out false. I am sorry you are so concerned about whether or not a student is straight or gay, black or white? This was the extent of your education? Really? I am so sorry for you. Most of us Hillsdale graduates do not care what race or gender you belong to... We are busy studying more important issues. Economics, literature, history, science, math etc.

  18. Anonymous, please go to Hillsdale College, I beg you. Attend one of their open CCA lectures, (the best this side of Cambridge University, as far as my personal educational experience is concerned). You will change your mind about Hillsdale College. It is the least racist college in the country (Frederick Douglass taught at Hillsdale). To be fair, Hillsdale College has its problems. It has a draconian social visitation policy (I was fined for bringing girls back late from an opera, of all things!)...If your primary concern in life is gay rights(why would it be?), don't go to Hillsdale, by all means. If, however, you think gay rights issues are secondary to other issues, and want a great classical education, Hillsdale should be near the top of your list. Once again, I had a gay friend at Hillsdale, and he is now a prosperous, practicing lawyer. We all were his friends at Hillsdale.

  19. Concerning the banning of gay organizations on Hillsdale's campus (I am not even sure if this is the case, although I wouldn't be surprised), Hillsdale would equally ban groups like PETA from campus (they also ban reporters), not because they are against the ethical treatment of animals, but because it is irrelevent to their stated educational mission. Hillsdale does allow military recruiters on campus (unlike, say, Harvard), but Hillsdale has a quite preeminent military history. And, quite frankly, since they are totally private, they can do whatever they want to do.

  20. Hillsdale is a great college. As a graduate of the college who attended multiple econ classes, though I did not major in it, I know that they are one of the few decent American colleges that gives voice to classical liberal arguments. They have Ludwig von Mises' personal library withing the college library. They refuse to report people according to their skin color because they hold the content of ones character to be the true standard. Multiculturalism, especially of the social science variety, is not American. As Teddy Roosevelt once mentioned, all those hyphens are like daggers in the heart of America. We need to remind ourselves what defines us as men and woman. Hint: its definitely not skin color.

  21. As a recent graduate of Hillsdale College (2008), I have a few comments:

    I would not call the school gay-friendly, gay-tolerant or gay-accepting. They have made it abundantly clear that they do not want any homosexual activity on campus. I was gay, and most certainly not out when I was there. There were a lot of professors (especially political science/history) that were very outspoken against gay marriage. The last few years have been riddled with gay issues as there was a gay couple on campus. Many of the students and faculty complained about it and that is what promoted the new rule for this year. If you are gay, I highly suggest looking for another school. If you want a school that allows you to figure out your own opinions rather than bludgeon you over the head with theirs, I would suggest another school. If you want racial diversity, I would suggest another school. If you want political diversity (that is not frowned upon), I would suggest another school. If you want a night life, I would suggest another school.

    If you want to be in a mecca of Christian conservatives, I would recommend Hillsdale. If you want to be around 90% whites, I would recommend Hillsdale. If you want to possibly live in a dorm nicknamed "Gallogay" where they constantly make fun of gays, I would recommend Hillsdale. If you want a college that has no decent computer classes, I would recommend Hillsdale. If you want a college with a useless career planning office, I would recommend Hillsdale.

    Yes, there are many great reasons to attend Hillsdale. You'll have the opportunity to graduate as a brain-washed Christian neo-con. You'll be able to ramble off arguments against gay-marriage, abortion, and even illegal immigrants! Maybe one day you'll get to be on FOX News!

    1. Hey! You summed it up so well! I attended for my freshman year, got creeped out by the cultish vibes, transferred to community college for a year, and now go to MSU. Literally everything you said is spot on. Lots of anti-gay, lots of individual racism, crazyyy amounts of anti-feminism and "men's rights"

      On top of that, if you have any views on politics and religion other than the traditional conservative catholic, you would probably feel like an outcast or at least be made to feel stupid. By students and professors alike.

  22. The best way to end racism is to act like there never was. As long as we keep using the word "Race", and continue considering a school's "stats" their racial identity, we continue the racism spiral.

    Whether you believe us all equal or not, just thinking of us as different at all based on color is some form of racism IMO. While the words "Black", "White", or any slang terms do not in any way bother me, seeing people with different colored skins as, well, different in any way is only proving you to be part of the problem.

    Nothing pains me more than to know that a school is going to look at my race as a means of acceptance or non-acceptance.

    "What are the hiding"? What is the government hiding? What does the government care if a college is mainly white? It works both ways.

    I stand by my first statement, but I can only assume that liberal "blacks" outnumber right wing "blacks". I'd think that a "Black" student trying to enroll in hillsdale would be given a distinct advantage simply because of the lack of right wing African Americans in our country.

    Going against a school because they choose not to become the government's puppet? That's a bit liberal.

  23. To the last commenter: I wonder how you would have fared at most of the state schools in Michigan. I attended Hillsdale College. I am not homosexual myself (although people assume I am, because I have effeminate features and dress pretty well), but I have personally experienced far more rampant homophobia visiting the campuses of state schools than I did at Hillsdale. I would imagine it is much harder to be militantly anti-gay at a small school like Hillsdale, where everyone knows everyone else and you would be called out for extreme or inappropriate behavior. I do regret to hear that you felt out of place at Hillsdale.

    And the night life, no computers, Fox news thing is interesting to me. Hillsdale prides itself on being a sort of monastic liberal arts/classics/American civics school in the middle of nowhere that leans libertarian politically and does whatever it wants, to the frantic dismay of the big gov't left. How is it that you didn't know this before you attended? I am sure that night life would have been much better at MSU or U of M or Central Michigan University, etc. You would have received half the education that you got at Hillsdale, of course, but I am assuming from your post that isn't really what you were interested in anyway.

    Hillsdale is a unique place. It isn't for everyone.

  24. a. Hillsdale isn't "like Grove City College" (except that it is entirely private) nor is it even nominally Christian: it is considered a secular private college (do your own research online - there is always a note in these most conservative lists about Hillsdale "being more economically conservative than socially conservative". 40 years ago, in fact, Hillsdale was on Playboy's "Top 10 Party schools", hardly a "Christian Mecca"). Anyway, Hillsdale has Christians, classical liberals (libertarians), atheists, traditionalists, anarchists, a few confused Democrats, and a lot of strict constitutionalists. They all seem to share one thing in common, though: they don't like big government (except, maybe, the confused Democrats, but they tend to be mostly Reagan Dems anyway).

    b. If you want to know, when I went there ('00), the student lounge was full of smart, cigarette-smoking libertarians (yes, you could even smoke inside the college lounge - freedom!), each with a stack of about 15 heavy books not assigned to them in class, talking about academic things. I felt rather at home there. They all seem to share one thing in common, though: they don't like big government.

    c. Most conservative colleges:

    6.Hillsdale College

    Hillsdale College, situated in Hillsdale, Michigan, is better known for being politically conservative than socially conservative, but is deemed conservative nonetheless, ranking among the Young America’s Foundation Top 10 Conservative Colleges. Why? Hillsdale’s mission is focused on institutional independence—the college does not accept government subsidies for any of its operations. Throughout the Hillsdale website, it champions the cause of limited government interference, and took the matter of racial quotas to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Hillsdale’s "Declaration of Independence" it says: "Our country’s greatness is the result not of government benevolence but rather of individual initiative and enterprise," a major tenet of conservative thought."

  25. There is one other "Hillsdale type" I forgot in my previous post, so to be thorough about it: the apolitical classicist who goes to Hillsdale for the highly regarded Latin/Greek/Western canon studies, and who doesn't really identify with greater conservative aspects of the school. I suppose classicists could be considered "conservatives", but not necessarily politically (more scholastically) so.

    A great thing about Hillsdale College, whatever you think of its politics, is its pretty uncontroversial curriculum. Unless you think Latin & Greek, American founding documents and history, all read from original sources, Shakespeare/Western literature, modern foreign languages, and core math & science skills are not "progressive" enough. You won't learn gender studies and Marxist economics before you learn the Western canon and American civics at Hillsdale (although you will eventually get to Marx, of course).

    If that is conservative, then Hillsdale is certainly a conservative college. There is probably less politics or "teaching what to think" in the actual classroom at Hillsdale than at most, more "progressive" schools, simply because Hillsdale reads/teaches exclusively from original texts. The student reads the text as a primary, first-hand encounter with a historically important idea.

    Denique ("finally", in Latin, of course), if you still don't like Hillsdale, there is good news for you: you pay nothing of your tax money for it, not a single cent. Hillsdale College is completely self-sufficient. Most of us (actually all of us) pay for the perpetuation of many bad ideas we don't like or agree with at various public universities. Hillsdale takes nothing from you, and asks nothing of you, except to leave it alone to teach what it wants to teach. That is noble in itself. And is a good reason to support Hillsdale College.

  26. I graduated from Grove City College in 1980 and the issue as I understand it is not racial. It is rather that Grove City College and Hillsdale College don't want interference in their internal affairs. For Grove City this meant that the Federal Government could not come in and make them stop requiring chapel (which all students know about before going there). And Grove City was concerned that content of classes (Bible classes, Religion and Philosphy classes, etc) would be regulated by the governemnt. The reason for rejeciting fedeal aid was that basically freedom of regligion would be tampered with. One reason I went to Grove City is that I wanted to go to a Christian school. If I had not wanted to, I would have gotten my BA at Univeristy of Pittsburgh or CMU. People are free to go to a school that doesn't have specifically Christian values if they choose.
    Since Grove City and Hillsdale take no federal dollars (and they don't even accept any federal money through student aid or loans) then they are totally free of Big Brother and the Thought Police. I grew up in the north and have lived in the south for 8 years, and have found that true Chrsitans (ie: people who actually believe in Jesus and not those playing church to please God, Mom and Dad, society, etc.) are color blind. I wish that the liberals and media were also color blind. Color of the skin does not matter. In fact, about half of the Bible teachers I watch online, etc. are black and I am white. I watch them because they preach truth. Try reading the Bible. The book of John is a good place to start. Keep an open mind about what you read and understand that this book is not a Western, white book - it is from the middle east and it was written originally in Greek and Aramaic and it was written by a Jew for Jews.
    The government should not interfere with private eduacation that is privately funded. And people should be free to attend or not attend.

    God Bless

  27. It is exactly NOT about race and that was the problem, why does it matter how many blacks whites and hispanics they have? Why does the Federal governmant need to know this? It is about the liberty of a school independant of the Federal government and the intrusive department of education programs to run their school in a responsible way both financialy and by choosing to NOT count the color of every student. I only wish more schools would stand up to the federal government and open up more programs to students in other areas of study. Our child wants to be a Vet...try and find a school not owned by the USDA.

  28. Though established by Freewill Baptists, Hillsdale has been officially non-denominational since its inception. It was the first American college to prohibit in its charter any discrimination based on race, religion, or sex, and became an early force for the abolition of slavery. It was also the second college in the nation to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women. so there's that... And, historically speaking, "conservatives" were actually against discrimination.... the Republicans.

  29. They are not concealing anything. They don't want federal interference, period. There is nothing immoral about it.

  30. Angel: Disingenuous liberals trying to masquerade as libertarians such as yourself is the precise reason they have refused Federal regulation. You want to return to making judgments of a people based upon the color of his skin. As such, you underscore the veracity of the aphorism that inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out. Being a liberal is the fear that somewhere there is somebody who does want want government assistance. You are not a libertarian. You are a phony.

    "Dressed in the skin of a lion, the ass spread terror far and wide."

  31. You can't yada yada the last 60 years.
    Not all Republicans are racists but many racists are Republican.



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