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What Does It Cost to Attend Hillsdale College?

Founded by abolitionists, Hillsdale College has been educating Michigan students since 1844. This selective private school is known for offering a diverse liberal arts education and boasting a high price of admission.


While Hillsdale’s high sticker price could cause students to think twice about applying, the truth is that many students pay far less than advertised to attend this institution. Read on to learn more about the variability of college pricing, along with what it really costs to attend Hillsdale College.


Why College Costs Are Highly Variable


The Hillsdale College sticker price can cause anxiety for both students and parents. However, it’s important to remember that college costs can vary drastically, with a majority of students paying less than the list price. You can find the financial aid net price, or actual cost of attending school, by adding up the cost of all forms of financial aid, including federal, state, and local aid, scholarships, and grants, and subtracting that number from the brochure cost.


Another factor to consider with regard to college pricing is whether schools are public or private. Although public schools often come with lower sticker prices, they don’t tend to have the robust endowments offered by private schools. So private institutions like Hillsdale may have more funding available in the form of scholarships and grants.


What Is the List Price at Hillsdale College?


This Michigan institution has a relatively high list price. For the 2016-2017 school year, the cost of tuition and fees at Hillsdale College was $38,922. The students most likely to pay the full price were those from families earning more than $175,000 a year, along with those in the bottom 70% of accepted applicants.


What Is the Hillsdale College Financial Aid Net Price?


The financial aid net price of attending Hillsdale is slightly less than the list price. For the 2016-2017 academic year, students paid $35,091 on average to attend this institution.


How Much Merit Aid Do Hillsdale College Students Receive?


If you’re looking to reduce the cost of your Hillsdale College degree, merit aid may be the solution. Fortunately, this institution is known for being generous with this form of aid; in fact, 95.3% of students at Hillsdale receive merit aid, with an average award of $14,477. 


For students who don’t qualify for financial aid, the average net price to attend school was $24,445.

How Many Hillsdale College Students Take Out Loans?


For many students, loans are an essential way to finance a college degree. At Hillsdale College, around 48% of undergraduates borrow money to pay for school.


Student Outcomes at Hillsdale College


Families considering Hillsdale College can look at student outcomes to decide whether the school represents a good investment. Parents often wonder whether their students will be able to graduate on time at a given school. The good news is that Hillsdale students have an 83% chance of finishing in six years.


Local Area Cost Considerations


One of the advantages of attending Hillsdale College is that the location boasts a relatively low cost of living. With a cost of living index of 82.2, Hillsdale is about 20% more affordable than the U.S. average. If you’re living off campus while earning your degree, expect to spend $541 for a one-bedroom, $716 for a two-bedroom, and $923 for a three-bedroom space.


Although the cost of living in this Michigan city is relatively low, incomes are similarly limited. The average Hillsdale resident earns $31,946 a year, and the state has a minimum wage of $9.45 per hour.


Ways to Save Money on College


If you do intend to work while attending Hillsdale, consider applying for a work-study position on the school campus. Not only do these jobs save you the trouble of commuting, but they also tend to allow extra time for students to read and do homework while earning money.


For students who would prefer to limit the hours they spend working, independent scholarships can help bridge the financial gap. One lucrative option is the  National Merit Scholarship program, which offers recognition and grant money to the top 1 percent of PSAT scorers. Around 15,000 students a year securing college financing through this program. For more scholarship opportunities, check out the Hillsdale College website.


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Short Bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.