Scholarships, Grants, & Loans

Hillsdale College, which does not accept or permit its students to bring federal financial aid to campus, is fully committed to providing its students with competitive financial aid packages, all of which are privately funded. Financial aid can be need-based (grants and loans), or it can be awarded without regard to financial need, as many scholarships are. This page outlines Hillsdale’s various scholarship, grant, and loan programs.

For further information regarding financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Need-Based Financial Aid

How Need is Determined

To be considered for need-based assistance, a student must first complete a need-analysis application (CFFS online) to determine the financial contribution a family can make each year toward the candidate’s schooling. Need is then determined according to the following simple formula:

Need = college cost - family contribution

Consequently, a family’s “need factor” will vary from college to college, as the cost of each institution differs.

By drawing from a number of sources, including grants, loans, and campus employment, Hillsdale endeavors to offer a financial aid “package” that will help defray educational costs.

Educational Grants

Grants are outright gifts that need not be repaid.

  • Hillsdale College Grants - A limited number of grants are awarded each year to students showing promise and exceptional need.
  • Michigan Independence Replacement Grant - Hillsdale’s replacement fund for the State of Michigan Competitive Scholarship Program and Tuition Grant Program.

Loan Program

Loans are extended at low interest rates.

  • Hillsdale College Loans - Hillsdale has several private loan funds which are sponsored by individuals, foundations, and companies who support Hillsdale’s independence. These loan funds are need-based, have various interest rates, and take individual, specialized criteria for selection. All loans require a creditworthy cosigner and are contingent upon students meeting and maintaining standards of progress each semester.

  • Alternative Loans - Alternative loans are private loan sources available to all creditworthy, enrolled Hillsdale students. These loans help bridge the gap between the actual cost of education and the limited amount of institutional financial aid offered by Hillsdale College. Hillsdale College certifies alternative loans through the following preferred lenders: Discover Student Loans, Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan, and Lake Trust Credit Union Student Choice.

Self-certification information:

  1. Student’s cost of attendance for the period of enrollment covered by the loans: $37,552.00.
  2. Estimated financial assistance: $______
  3. Difference between amounts A and B: $

The amount on line C is the maximum private loan amount a student can borrow without reducing eligibility for financial aid.

Statement of Loan Policy - Due to our independence from Government assistance, federal loans are not made available to Hillsdale College students. Some students may qualify for institutional loans. Students are permitted to pursue any privately funded student loan as long as the loan amount is within institutional budgetary limits. However, since many lenders will not process student loans for students attending an institution without a federal school code, we provide information on quality alternative lenders with whom we have an established relationship. Hillsdale College students are not limited to these lenders when seeking an outside loan.

The Hillsdale College Office of Student Financial Aid is aware of predatory lending practices by some such lenders. Because many deceptive marketing tactics are not illegal in the world of alternative student loans, parents and students are cautioned to be wary of unsolicited offers from any outside loan provider and are advised to read and understand the terms and conditions of any loan they may be considering.

Financial Aid Without Regard to Need

How to Apply

Those students wishing to apply for a Hillsdale scholarship based on outstanding achievement and satisfactory citizenship need only complete an application for admission. Any student accepted for admission is automatically considered for an award at the appropriate date by the Scholarship Selection Committee. Due to the competitive nature of the awards, not everyone who qualifies can receive an award.

Application Deadline

Applications for admission must be postmarked by the dates noted on the published Application Plans.

How Merit Awards are Decided

Academic Merit Awards are based on the overall strength of the student’s application and not awarded solely on the basis of grades and test scores. Preference is given to students who present outstanding academic credentials, a superior record of leadership, substantial volunteerism, work experience and extra-curricular involvement, and a demonstrable desire to learn in a rigorous, challenging, honorable academic environment. Merit awards range from $1,000 to half tuition with a few three-quarter to full tuition awards given each year. An interview with an Admissions representative is strongly recommended.

Scholarships are awarded to incoming students and are renewable for four years provided the specified academic performance is maintained. Applicants are encouraged, without jeopardizing the merit award, to file the Hillsdale College Confidential Family Financial Statement to qualify for additional financial aid based on need. Our comprehensive Financial Aid Program also includes athletic and fine arts scholarships. Admission and financial aid are granted without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national or ethnic origin.

Outside Scholarship Searches

In addition to Hillsdale College-sponsored scholarships, many organizations offer financial support for undergraduate study. The following scholarship search services offer free online searchable databases of private sector scholarships representing billions of dollars in aid for higher education.