If you work in a conservative-leaning organization in Washington, D.C., you're probably encountered bright, well-educated graduates of Hillsdale College, the respected institution of higher education in Michigan that doesn't take a dime from the federal government.
Hillsdale puts out a monthly digest called Imprimis that always carries a speech delivered at the college by some intellectual heavy. The last issue featured the philosopher Wilfred McClay on "History, American Democracy, and the AP Test Controversy."
Hillsdale is one of those places that bristle with ideas. In fact, I've been to a few Hillsdale events in Washington, D.C., and every time I left thinking, "Wow! If I had it to do over again . . . "
But the Obama administration doesn't share my enthusiasm for Hllsdale.
The administration did not include the school on its new College Scorecard.
An Obama administration representative took a shot at a well-known conservative college Thursday, saying the school wasn’t included on its much-heralded new “College Scorecard” because it isn’t a real two-to-four year college.
Hillsdale College, a 1,500-student liberal arts college in Michigan, is ranked by U.S. News and World Reports as the 67th-best national liberal arts college in the country. The college is well-known for the conservative identity of its student body and its focus on a core curriculum that emphasizes Judeo-Christian tradition and the U.S. Constitution. It’s also known for its refusal to accept any federal funding (including federal student loans), in order to remain free of most federal regulatory control.
Interestingly, when asked by Hillsdale’s student paper, the Obama administration suggested it was because Hillsdale, a four-year liberal arts college, didn’t award enough degrees and instead just offered low-level certificates.
“Hillsdale is a predominantly certificate degree granting institution,” Department of Education spokeswoman Denise Horn told The Collegian, Hillsdale’s campus newspaper. “At launch, we focused our attention on predominantly two– and four-year degree programs.” In other words, the Department of Education is implying Hillsdale isn’t a genuine four-year school.
A quick look at the data belies this claim. Hillsdale grants hundreds of degrees each year, and there are several schools that give substantially fewer degrees on the scorecard, such as Burlington College in Vermont (which has just 200 undergraduates). While Hillsdale does offer online programs available to the general public, it can hardly be characterized as the main thrust of the institution.
It is obvious why the Scorecard doesn't include Hillsdale.
The administration simply does not like Hillsdale.
Never mind that Hillsdale has solved college loan problem that bedevils most other colleges.
As for the online programs, they aren't the bulk of what Hillsdale does, but such programs are in the vanguard of dealing with the problem of sky high tuition costs for bright people who don't have the money to live on campus.
So for solving problems and not asking for a handout from the taxpayer, Hillsdale is dismissed the Obama administration.
If the administration were smart, it would be on the phone asking Hillsdale, "How do you do it?"
Let's give the administration's scorecard an F for leaving out one of the most interesting schools in the country.