Hillsdale College


Hillsdale College is a classical liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Its four-year curriculum leads to the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree, and it is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Hillsdale's educational mission rests upon two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. The College does not accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies for any of its operations. Located in rural southern Michigan, the nearly 400-acre Hillsdale campus includes both modern and historic buildings.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Hillsdale College
33 E College St
Hillsdale, MI 49242

Website: hillsdale.edu

Phone: 517-437-7341

Email: donorservices@hillsdale.edu

Organization details

EIN: 381374230

CEO/President: Larry P. Arnn

Chairman: Patrick L. Sajak

Board size: 34


Year founded: 1943

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Hillsdale College maintains its defense of the traditional liberal arts curriculum, convinced that it is the best preparation for meeting the challenges of modern life and that it offers to all people of all backgrounds not only an important body of knowledge, but also timeless truths about the human condition. The liberal arts are dedicated to stimulating students' intellectual curiosity, to encouraging the critical, well-disciplined mind, and to fostering personal growth through academic challenge. They are a window on the past and a gateway to the future. The College values the merit of each unique individual, rather than succumbing to the dehumanizing, discriminatory trend of so-called "social justice" and "multicultural diversity," which judges individuals not as individuals, but as members of a group and which pits one group against other competing groups in divisive power struggles.

Mission statement

Hillsdale College is an independent institution of higher learning founded in 1844 by men and women "grateful to God for the inestimable blessings" resulting from civil and religious liberty and "believing that the diffusion of learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings." It pursues the stated object of the founders: "to furnish all persons who wish, irrespective of nation, color, or sex, a literary, scientific, [and] theological education" outstanding among American colleges "and to combine with this such moral and social instruction as will best develop the minds and improve the hearts of its pupils." As a nonsectarian Christian institution, Hillsdale College maintains "by precept and example" the immemorial teachings and practices of the Christian faith. The College also considers itself a trustee of our Western philosophical and theological inheritance tracing to Athens and Jerusalem, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law. By training the young in the liberal arts, Hillsdale College prepares students to become leaders worthy of that legacy. By encouraging the scholarship of its faculty, it contributes to the preservation of that legacy for future generations. By publicly defending that legacy, it enlists the aid of other friends of free civilization and thus secures the conditions of its own survival and independence.

Statement of faith

Hillsdale College is a Christian school with an earnest and vibrant spiritual life. The College has always welcomed anyone to study here regardless of their faith tradition. For that reason, we do not have an institutional statement of faith to which all students must submit, nor do we have a required chapel service.

Transparency grade

This ministry has not been assigned a transparency grade.

To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating588 of 61884 of 85
Fund acquisition rating527 of 61885 of 85
Resource allocation rating506 of 61879 of 85
Asset utilization rating510 of 61858 of 85

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$96,831,935$79,997,590$67,851,007$80,829,517$91,662,182
Short-term investments$340,624,275$281,343,097$282,719,368$244,012,851$197,211,820
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$491,160,719$406,735,395$404,384,998$383,740,918$323,108,164
Long-term investments$280,051,166$261,270,006$274,317,937$266,698,730$304,358,512
Fixed assets$146,877,230$145,368,287$138,580,503$126,082,664$121,252,680
Other long-term assets$108,719,692$105,370,988$104,385,100$108,123,403$35,398,655
Total long-term assets$535,648,088$512,009,281$517,283,540$500,904,797$461,009,847
Total assets$1,026,808,807$918,744,676$921,668,538$884,645,715$784,118,011
Payables and accrued expenses$22,620,951$19,763,423$27,002,671$24,529,660$23,999,937
Other current liabilities$738,721$2,257,135$2,555,856$2,607,356$2,281,733
Total current liabilities$23,359,672$22,020,558$29,558,527$27,137,016$26,281,670
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$63,654,899$65,249,511$60,653,009$65,560,213$64,801,413
Total long-term liabilities$87,153,479$89,546,678$85,534,660$91,135,598$91,275,590
Total liabilities$110,513,151$111,567,236$115,093,187$118,272,614$117,557,260
Net assets20172016201520142013
Temporarily restricted$207,716,070$169,877,317$178,018,522$201,838,720$157,859,474
Permanently restricted$577,353,910$508,883,420$484,196,359$432,800,830$399,872,056
Net assets$916,295,656$807,177,440$806,575,351$766,373,101$666,560,751
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$144,893,509$109,558,877$118,585,719$103,885,418$149,194,829
Program service revenue$50,780,130$49,627,751$46,904,026$46,455,153$43,279,711
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$31,589,080$11,456,684$31,706,436$27,864,566$17,050,709
Other revenue$3,803,058$2,141,189$3,156,368$2,960,114$2,755,442
Total other revenue$86,172,268$63,225,624$81,766,830$77,279,833$63,085,862
Total revenue$231,065,777$172,784,501$200,352,549$181,165,251$212,280,691
Program services$100,272,951$90,364,950$91,017,016$84,270,395$77,054,518
Management and general$18,143,426$15,198,304$15,404,722$11,924,179$9,608,009
Total expenses$143,491,963$129,460,737$129,853,793$118,464,216$104,546,138
Change in net assets20172016201520142013
Surplus (deficit)$87,573,814$43,323,764$70,498,756$62,701,035$107,734,553
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$87,573,814$43,323,764$70,498,756$62,701,035$107,734,553

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


Hillsdale College was founded as Michigan Central College in Spring Arbor, Michigan, in 1844. Nine years later it moved to Hillsdale and assumed its current name. As stated in its Articles of Association, the College undertakes its work "grateful to God for the inestimable blessings resulting from the prevalence of civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety in the land, and believing that the diffusion of sound learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings." 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. Professor and preacher Ransom Dunn, who would serve Hillsdale College for half a century, raised money to construct the new hilltop campus in the early 1850s by riding 6,000 miles on horseback on the Wisconsin and Minnesota frontier. It was largely through Dunn's efforts that Hillsdale would survive while over 80 percent of colleges founded before the Civil War would not. A higher percentage of Hillsdale students enlisted during the Civil War than from any other western college. Of the more than 400 who fought for the Union, four earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, three became generals, and many more served as regimental commanders. Sixty gave their lives. Because of the College's anti-slavery reputation and its role in founding the new Republican party (Professor Edmund Fairfield was a leader at the first convention), many notable speakers visited its campus during the Civil War era, including Frederick Douglass and Edward Everett, who preceded Lincoln at Gettysburg. Hillsdale's modern rise to prominence occurred in the 1970s. On the pretext that some of its students were receiving federal loans, the Department 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. Hillsdale's trustees 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 encroachments 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 could no longer bring federal taxpayer money to Hillsdale. Instead, the College would replace that aid with private contributions. Hillsdale continues to carry out its original mission today, both in the classroom and nationwide, through its many outreach programs, including its monthly speech digest, Imprimis. A prayer written in the Bible that was placed inside the 1853 cornerstone of Central Hall reflects its continuing commitment: "May earth be better and heaven be richer because of the life and labor of Hillsdale College."

Program accomplishments