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Once a year, The Wall Street Journal publishes an extended report ranking US Colleges, and this that newspaper did this morning, ranking some 500 institutions. Missing from the list, however — this year, last year, and every other year in which WSJ has printed its report — is Hillsdale College.
The reason is simple. Hillsdale does not take federal money because that money comes with strings attached. Schools that do take that money are highly regulated by the federal government, and we value our independence. The Wall Street Journal and its partner in producing the report they publish annually, the Times Higher Education Supplement, do not bother to do much reporting. They get their data from the US Department of Education, which collects the pertinent information from the schools that receive federal funds, and they do not go to the trouble of securing comparable data from the handful of schools that do not take federal money. And thought this omission has been drawn to the attention of the editors of The Wall Street Journal, they have neither corrected their error nor included in their report an acknowledgement that their rankings are for this reason incomplete.
I cannot myself tell you where we would rank because I do not know how these folks produce their conclusions. But I can say that the average ACT score for the freshman who arrived a couple of weeks ago was 30.16, which puts them in the 95th percentile. I can also tell you that our retention rate is exceptionally high and that, in an environment in which 11.2 million young (and old) women and only 8.7 million young (and old) men attend college, our freshman class is 55 percent male. I can add that the average high-school GPA of our entering freshman is 3.89. This data puts us well ahead of Michigan State University, a slight bit ahead of the University of Wisconsin, and close to being equal to the University of Michigan.
In recent years, we have had three graduates clerk for the US Supreme Court and three play as starters in the National Football League.
Are we competitive with Harvard and Yale? Not yet, but we do steal the occasional applicant away from them, and every time that they raise their tuition or mistreat a young man foolish enough to matriculate there we gain ground.
So, I say to the Presidents of Yale and Harvard, “Keep up the good work!” And to the editors of The Wall Street Journal, I must add, “Why don’t you do the requisite work?”