Hillsdale College Requirements for Admission

What are Hillsdale College's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into Hillsdale College and build a strong application.

School location: Hillsdale, MI


Admissions Rate: 50%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Hillsdale College is 50%. For every 100 applicants, 50 are admitted.

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This means the school is moderately selective. The school expects you to meet their requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but they're more flexible than other schools. If you exceed their requirements, you have an excellent chance of getting in. But if you don't, you might be one of the unlucky minority that gets a rejection letter.


Hillsdale College GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.81

The average GPA at Hillsdale College is 3.81.

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(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.81, Hillsdale College requires you to be near the top of your class, and well above average. Your transcript should show mostly A's. Ideally, you will also have taken several AP or IB classes to show that you can handle academics at a college level.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.81, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.


SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Hillsdale College. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

Hillsdale College SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1980 (New: 1400)

The average SAT score composite at Hillsdale College is a 1980 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1400.

This score makes Hillsdale College Moderately Competitive for SAT test scores.

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Hillsdale College SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1290, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1490. In other words, a 1290 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1490 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math640600690
Reading373339
Writing363338
Composite140012901490

Hillsdale College SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1810, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2140. In other words, a 1810 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2140 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math620580660
Reading690620750
Writing670610730
Composite198018102140

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Hillsdale College has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Sitting."

This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider the SAT score from your single highest test date (the sum of math, reading, and writing).

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Hillsdale College only considers your highest score on a single test date, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit your strongest score. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT score is currently below a 1980, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You don't have much to lose, and you can potentially raise your score and significantly boost your chances of getting in.


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Hillsdale College ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Hillsdale College likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 29

The average ACT score at Hillsdale College is 29. This score makes Hillsdale College Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

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The 25th percentile ACT score is 27, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 31.

Even though Hillsdale College likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 27 or below, you'll have a harder time getting in, unless you have something else impressive in your application.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 29 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Hillsdale College, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 29.


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SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

Hillsdale College recommends that you take the SAT/ACT Writing section. If you do well, they'll consider your application to be stronger.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

Hillsdale College has indicated that SAT subject tests are recommended. Typically this means that SAT subject tests are not required, but submitting them can showcase particular strengths. For example, if you're applying to an engineering school, submitting science and math SAT subject tests will boost your application.

Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.



Final Admissions Verdict

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Because this school is moderately selective, strong academic performance will almost guarantee you admission. Scoring a 2140 SAT or a 31 ACT or above will nearly guarantee you admission. Because the school admits 50% of all applicants, being far above average raises the admission rate for you to nearly 100%.

If you can achieve a high SAT/ACT score, the rest of your application essentially doesn't matter. You still need to meet the rest of the application requirements, and your GPA shouldn't be too far off from the school average of 3.81. But you won't need dazzling extracurriculars and breathtaking letters of recommendation to get in. You can get in based on the merits of your score alone.

But if your score is a 1810 SAT or a 27 ACT and below, you have a good chance of being one of the unlucky few to be rejected.



Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at Hillsdale College?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

Pick your test: Old SAT New SAT ACT

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Note: This is only an estimate for the average student, based on data collected from thousands of students. Other factors in your application may come into play, such as extracurriculars and recommendation letters.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

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Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of Hillsdale College here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application Accepted
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation 2
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $35: may be reduced if applying online. Check with Admissions Office
  • Fee Waiver Available? Not available
  • Other Notes

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Recommended
  • SAT Subject Tests Recommended
  • Scores Due in Office May 1

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 3
  • Science 3
  • Foreign Language
  • Social Studies 2
  • History 3
  • Electives

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered? Deadline Notification
  • Regular Admission
    • Yes April 1 Rolling
  • Early Action
    • Yes December 15 None
  • Early Decision
    • Yes November 1 December 1

Admissions Office Information


Other Schools For You

If you're interested in Hillsdale College, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to Hillsdale College.


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Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are more selective and have higher scores than Hillsdale College. If you improve your SAT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 1500 2160 32
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 1450 2080 31
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 1420 1376 30
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 1440 2060 32
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA 1440 2050 32
Emory University Atlanta, GA 1430 2046 31
New York University New York, NY 1410 2016 30

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Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

If you're competitive for Hillsdale College, these schools will offer you a similar chance of admission.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 1370 1315 30
Boston University Boston, MA 1370 1946 29
Villanova University Villanova, PA 1370 1940 31
Binghamton University Vestal, NY 1360 1929 29
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 1360 1925 30
University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 1350 1912 29
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 1350 1904 29

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Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

If you're currently competitive for Hillsdale College, you should have no problem getting into these schools. If Hillsdale College is currently out of your reach, you might already be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
United States Military Academy West Point, NY 1340 1898 28
American University Washington, DC 1320 1858 28
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 1310 1849 28
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 1310 1846 28
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 1290 1226 27
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 1300 1839 28
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 1290 1815 29

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