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Grad School After Hillsdale

YAHAYAHA Registered User Posts: 359 Member
edited September 2010 in Hillsdale College
Does anyone have any experience of going into grad schools after Hillsdale? Is it a good institution to come from in order to be admitted to a decent grad program in one's field? I am thinking of transfering to hillsdale next fall and attending a grad school after graduation. My possible majors of interest are mathematics/econ/physics/computer science or any combination of the above.

any input is appreciated.
Post edited by YAHA on

Replies to: Grad School After Hillsdale

  • dalealumnusdalealumnus Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Hi YAHA,

    I'm a Hillsdale alumnus. I went to law school after Hillsdale and several of my friends went to other grad school programs. Hillsdale is an excellent grad school feeder and I believe if you excel in Mathematics, Economics and Physics you will place into a masters or PhD program. Hillsdale is becoming much more prominent and breaking into more prestigious programs (e.g. this year an alum will graduate from Yale Law School). Computer Science is a bit iffy, though: I'm not even sure if that major is offered at Hillsdale and in my experience (note: I'm 4 years removed) the computers-anything program was not very well regarded.

    The downside is the lack of grade inflation at the college. If you attain decent grades at Hillsdale, you'll probably destroy the GMAT/GRE/MCAT/what-have-you and compete well, but you'll be up against other kids who buffered their GPAs with blowoffs and, again, had the advantage of grade inflation.

    Honestly, and this is a weird fallback but I think it applies to Hillsdale far more than elsewhere: call the school. Admissions loves talking to prospective students, and they have nothing to hide.
  • YAHAYAHA Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    Thank you for the response!!!

    I already talked to the college admissions and asked them A LOT of questions :D Btw, while speaking to them, I got this sense of a really small institution, a family of a sort because if they needed to refer me to someone else, you could tell that all departments know each other well. ;)
    I guess what concerns me most is whether the faculty is renown enough to write good recommendations to get into decent grad schools. From my knowledge this is far more important than test scores. Also, is it at all possible to do any research as undergrad? For instance, be an assistant, co-author papers with profs, etc.

    P.S. I am really more of a math/ physics student because having that background as an undergrad, I can pretty much jump into any of the following grad programs: econ, math, physics, computer science.
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Registered User Posts: 1,975 Senior Member
    Yaha, my son graduated last May and what Dale says is true: because of the "no grade inflation" policy - a C really is "average" - for some students the GPA can be an issue. However, it is my experience with my son and his Hillsdale friends, that the GMAT, LSAT, and other grad exams are pieces of cake for the graduates of Hillsdale College. My son aced those first two, and I do mean ACED - and he graduated with something like a 3.25 GPA. At graduation, they mentioned that the class average GPA was in the 2.75 area. Don't know if that was true though since I didn't see it in print anywhere.
  • momoftwinsmomoftwins Registered User Posts: 2,668 Senior Member
    Grad schools are familiar with schools like Reed and Hillsdale that have no grade inflation. I have been told that they take this into account in making admissions decisions.
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Registered User Posts: 1,975 Senior Member
    M.o.T.: wow, what a contrast in those schools... Reed and Hillsdale.

    I believe there are several schools including those above where the "no grade inflation" policy is well known. There are also many many schools where the "average" grade is closer to a B or even B+, and grad admits know that too.

    I think the grad subjects do have some play here too. I think there are many more students looking for grad degrees in Econ than there are same in Physics, just by sheer numbers. (No figures to back up this statement; just my impression)
  • dalealumnusdalealumnus Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member

    Because the faculty is stocked with PhDs across the board, utilizes no TAs (except in some science labs), and enjoys very low prof-to-student ratios within every major, your letters of rec will glow. If you take an interest and perform well, your professor will go out of his/her way to guide you to the right program and help you succeed. I visit the college every year and stop in on 4-5 professors. Last time I was there I walked into Delp Hall at 2:30 p.m. and did not emerge until around 6. And this was three years after graduation.

    I was not in the physical sciences, so I don't know the extent of independent research and how it compares to other institutions, but going on how accomplished my friends are who majored in those areas I'd say Hillsdale holds its own.

    Don't be afraid to explore other majors along the way. The variety at Hillsdale will overwhelm you, and stories of Classics majors heading into prestigious MBA programs are not uncommon. Yes, the physical sciences are quite different in that regard, but my sister was an English major / Bio minor (with the B.S. to boot), and is all the happier for it.
  • dalealumnusdalealumnus Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    And, in my experience, I have to agree with momoftwins re the awareness of no grade inflation. I graduated around a 3.1 from Hillsdale with a high LSAT and received scholarship offers from law schools with only slightly lower LSAT medians but far, far higher GPA medians (3.6+). As much as I'd like to say my personal statement / letters of rec were just that good, I have to think they were in the know,
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Registered User Posts: 1,975 Senior Member
    Dale, your experiences are close to my son's. At alumni weekend, he wandered into a favorite prof's lecture, and both wound up staying till the dinner hour. It's a fantastic place for relationships like that.
  • momoftwinsmomoftwins Registered User Posts: 2,668 Senior Member

    You're so right. Reed and Hillsdale are like night and day - culturally. However, academically both are highly rigorous and have a reputation with professional and graduate schools for no grade inflation. This gives the two very different schools something important in common. I'm sure there are other colleges with similar grading policies.
  • YAHAYAHA Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    Would you suggest I visit and attend a class or two at the college? Does having an interview improve the admission chances? :) I think I am pretty much sold on Hillsdale (didnt take much lol), I am just working out the last wrinkles.
  • dalealumnusdalealumnus Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Admissions has overnight visits. In my opinion, these are key. You will be paired with an ambassador who will host you for an evening and a day and take you to a few classes as well as a few events. If you come away from this anything less than sold on Hillsdale, then give serious consideration to other schools so you can compare. Most of the kids I hosted during my time as an ambassador were already sold-- they often tour the school in the fall and then do the overnight visit in the spring.

    Make sure you go on a weekday night and don't be afraid to tell your ambassador about things you would like to see/do if they're available (check the Collegian from the week before for things going on-- The Collegian). I got dragged to choir practice for 3 hours during my visit. No offense to the choir, but it wasn't exactly what I had in mind. But on that same tour I attended three amazing classes and met with Dr. Craig; we just barged into his office to discuss the WHIP program. Man, I'm old.
  • momoftwinsmomoftwins Registered User Posts: 2,668 Senior Member
    We did the visit during our son's junior year spring break. About the last thing he wanted to do during break was attend classes. But he came out of each class so enthusiastically that Hillsdale bumped up to the top of his list. Other schools he visited didn't have the academic engagement he was looking for. If you're sold on a school, it really helps to visit. You will have more concrete reasons for your final selection.

    Good luck!!
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Registered User Posts: 1,975 Senior Member
    My son sat in on two classes during our visit and would have stayed for more but we had to return home. He was completely blown away by Dr. Pestritto in the PoliSci course. LOVED it! and later, when he was a PoliSci student, developed a wonderful relationship with Dr. Pestritto and, well, all his other profs too.

    Hillsdale is really a unique place.

    Good luck!
  • YAHAYAHA Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    Does any one know how different are the Regular Decision (February Deadline) and Early Action (January Deadline) ? Does the latter increase an applicant's chances to be admitted? :)
  • YAHAYAHA Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    Hello to everyone :)

    I just came back from my visit to the college. Its everything you guys said and then multiplied by ten ;). A CHARMING PLACE !!!
This discussion has been closed.