Obama Administration Snubs Hillsdale

On September 12, the Obama administration rolled out its online College Scorecard. The Scorecard is intended as a resource for students and parents, and gives basic information–cost, graduation rate, starting salaries of graduates, ethnic composition of student body, and so on–for, President Obama said, “every institution of higher education.”

Only it doesn’t. If you search for colleges in Michigan, 97 results come up. But Hillsdale College, one of America’s better liberal arts schools, isn’t one of them. Hillsdale’s student newspaper asked the Department of Education why Hillsdale had been left out, and got a response that is factually incorrect (and should have been known to be incorrect by anyone familiar with higher education in America). Hillsdale released the following statement:

Hillsdale College was not included in the federal government’s “College Scorecard” that was released on Sept. 12.

When the student newspaper asked why the College was not included in the “College Scorecard,” Denise Horn, assistant press secretary for the Department of Education said: “Hillsdale does offer bachelor’s degrees, however, because the plurality of degrees it awards are certificates, not two-year or four-year degrees, it was not included on the Scorecard at launch.” This statement is false.

Hillsdale College, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, has operated continuously since 1844, and is recognized consistently by independent organizations — including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes Magazine, The Princeton Review, and Kiplinger’s — as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Contrary to the Department of Education’s spokeswoman, Hillsdale issues only four-year undergraduate degrees as well as master’s degrees, and does not issue certificates of any kind for academic credit.

In fact, only those schools that participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which requires institutions to track and report racial demographics, were included on the “College Scorecard.” This is why Hillsdale College was not included.

Hillsdale College, founded in 1844 by abolitionist Free Will Baptists, was the first college in the land to prohibit by charter any discrimination based on “nationality, color or sex.” Hillsdale is proud of its heritage and has remained true to it, despite attempts by both federal and state bureaucrats to force it to count its students by race. Since 1985, the College has maintained its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans.

Hillsdale College provides comprehensive data to a wide variety of independent ranking institutions that do not require it to compromise its principles by counting its students by race, and the College is confident that parents and students looking for a rigorous, classical liberal arts education will find Hillsdale College without the federal government’s help.

For more information on Hillsdale College’s degree programs and 2015 rankings, visit https://www.hillsdale.edu/admissions/2015-rankings.

That’s the view of our federal government: if you don’t play the race game, you don’t exist. Shameful. On a positive note, however, Hillsdale will be around long after the administration’s College Scorecard has been abandoned and forgotten.

STEVE adds: I was going to take note of this story, too, but John beat me to it. The last line—”students looking for a rigorous, classical liberal arts education will find Hillsdale College without the federal government’s help”—is no doubt Larry Arnn’s contribution to this reply.

Meanwhile, I was privileged to speak at Hillsdale’s annual Constitution Day conference last week in Washington on the current controversy over “Reform Conservatism,” along with Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review and Shika Dalmia from Reason magazine, who are on opposite sides of the “reformicon” debate. I spoke last and was the in-between synthesis, though I did begin with a politically incorrect joke, because you can get away with it at Hillsdale. My talk begins at about the 49:50 mark of this video: