Blog - Category: scholarship

Hillsdale College Proud to Go Its Own Way

HillsdaleStatuesWinter

Quick: Name a college with statues of not only Abraham Lincoln but also Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Or one with free online courses that teach the U.S. Constitution? That refuses to accept federal funding.

It can only be one: Hillsdale College, the so-called “shining city on the hill” for political conservatives, who unabashedly revere the founding fathers and don’t apologize for a core curriculum that revolves around books by so-called Dead White Men.

Tucked away in central Michigan, the school is attracting attention yet again in the first few weeks of President Donald J. Trump’s administration. The New York Times and others are shining a light on the Michigan jewel in part because it underscores the debate within conservative intellectual circles about what to make of Trump.

Proudly different, Hillsdale attracts students from throughout the country because it provides world-class education at a bargain. Even though it eschews federal money — making students ineligible for Pell grants — 95 percent of its students received grants of more than $17,000 this year, dramatically lowering its advertised $35,000 cost of tuition, room and board.

The education is without parallel. Unlike other schools that seem ashamed of teaching liberal arts, Hillsdale embraces it. For two years, students study the classics, taking more than a dozen mandatory classes on topics from western heritage, American heritage, biology and chemistry.

The classes help students forge tight bonds with faculty and administrators. Heck, the New York Times noted the school president, Larry P. Arnn, “has been known to swoop down on hapless victims in the cafeteria and pose the core question of the Classics: “What is The Good?”

Is it for everyone? Perhaps not. But what makes Hillsdale awesome is that, in this day of trying to please everyone, it’s proudly unique and charts its own path.

That’s something of a specialty at Hillsdale College and Michigan’s 15 independent colleges and universities.

Proudly small, their students don’t get lost in the crowd like those at big state schools. And unlike public universities, students actually graduate in four years, not only saving a year of tuition but also giving them an extra year of earnings in their careers.

They have a deep and committed network of alumni who help after graduation. It’s an experience that simply isn’t available at traditional universities.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.

Study Proves Affordability of Michigan Private Colleges

affordable

You’ve probably heard it a million times. Private education is elite because only the elites can afford it.

The myth doesn’t come from nowhere. On average, advertised tuition at private colleges often exceeds public ones. But that doesn’t into account massive amounts of aid that lowers actual costs and decades of recruitment efforts that make world-class education affordable to everyone.

Now, there’s a new study that proves the point yet again. Far more students from lower-income families attend Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities than wealthy ones, according to a nationwide study that tracked income and attendance records of more than 30 million students.

At schools such as Olivet College, Siena Heights University, Spring Arbor University, more than 40 percent of the student body comes from families making $65,000 or less per year.

It’s a third or more of the student body at Adrian College, Aquinas College and Andrews University; one quarter at Alma College, Madonna University, University of Detroit-Mercy and Albion College and more than 15 percent at Calvin College, Hope College and Kalamazoo College, the study found.

And the notion that it’s just Richie Riches at private schools? False again. Students from families in the top 1 percent of income ($630,000 or more) comprise a vast minority at Michigan’s private colleges – usually 1-3 percent or less.

We know that’s a lot of numbers. But the point is a world-class private education is within reach.

Students at Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities receive far more financial aid, on average, than counterparts at public institutions. At most of our schools, more than 93 percent receive aid, vastly reducing advertised tuition and making it as affordable — or more so — than big state schools.

And unlike public universities, students at Michigan independents actually graduate in four years, giving them a head start on their career — and extra salary — over their public peers.

Purposefully smaller, Michigan’s private colleges offer a vastly different experience. Classes are small. Award-winning professors actually teach class — rather than TAs — get to know students and help them chart their own path to rewarding careers.

And students immediately are part of a network of alumni who are leaders in their fields. That’s because community, not crowds, are cherished.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.

Kalamazoo Promise Makes Private Education Within Reach

kalamazoo_promise_colleges

Almost everyone nowadays can cite scary statistics when it comes to the cost of college education.

Nationwide, the average annual tuition at private schools has more than tripled in 30 years jumping to $32,405 this year, according to inflation-adjusted statistics from the College Board.

But the cost of an elite private school education is nothing for students in Kalamazoo public schools.

You read that right.

The cost of Michigan’s 15 independent colleges and universities is zero for students who graduated from Kalamazoo Public Schools and attended since kindergarten. Graduates who attended since at least seventh grade will receive 75 percent of their tuition.

The Kalamazoo Promise is a revolutionary program that is changing lives and putting college in reach for 5,000 eligible graduates since it was launched and funded by anonymous donors in 2005.

The schools now send 85 percent of students to college, whose graduates can expect to earn $1 million more over their lifetime than peers whose education stopped at high school.

And what an education they can get, especially at Michigan’s independents: Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Hillsdale College, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Marygrove College, Olivet College, the University of Detroit Mercy, Andrews University, Madonna University, Siena Heights University and Spring Arbor University.

The schools pride themselves on helping students forge their own path. Classes are taught by professors, not teaching assistants, with average class sizes of just 17.5 students.

The independents open doors to a host of careers, from business and engineering to education and nursing, supported by a nurturing network of alumni who have become leaders in their fields.

And the independent colleges look like the world around them. One in 4 students at Michigan private colleges and universities is African American, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic or Latino.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.

Spring Arbor University Offers Scholarship to Help Homeless Man Fulfill Dreams

It’s a story straight out of Hollywood, by way of the Internet.

A Florida tourist takes a video of a homeless man playing Styx’s “Come Sail Away.” It’s breathtakingly beautiful. She puts it on Facebook. The Internet eats it up: In less than a month, the video has 12 million views on YouTube.

Now, Spring Arbor University is reaching out to the bearded mystery man to help him fulfill his dreams. The Michigan school is offering a full-ride music education scholarship, a gift worth $30,000 or more.

It turns out the homeless man, Donald Gould, 51, was a student at Spring Arbor in the 1990s. He was three credits shy of graduating when he dropped out, got married and watched his life fall apart.

First, his wife died in 1998. Then, he turned to substance abuse. So Social Services took away his son. Homelessness followed. His love of music never wavered.

As the story went viral, Spring Arbor officials got together. They knew what they had to do.

“Offering him the scholarship was an easy decision for us to make because of who we are,” Malachi Crane, vice president for enrollment and marketing at SAU, told USA Today.

“We have seen countless students and lives impacted by the transformational education we provide and know that Donald has a unique gift for music that he can use to change lives.”

The scholarship, quite simply, is “the right thing to do,” Crane said. But before Gould re-enrolls, he’s working on his sobriety and getting off the streets.

“He can complete his degree at a time in which he is ready,” Crane said, adding that Gould is getting help to stay on “the right path.”

The benevolence is typical of Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities. Because helping students follow the right path and fulfill their passion is what they do.

All emphasize community over crowds and a spirit of togetherness and cohesion that just doesn’t exist at big state schools. With low class sizes and award-winning faculty, the schools are proud that students forge lifelong bonds with professors.

Often less expensive than public institutions, the independents boast higher four-year graduation rates for a truly unique and affordable experience.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.

Pure love of sports fuels student athletes in Division III

D3

It’s no secret college sports are big business. College football alone recorded more than $3.4 billion. That’s a hair less than the gross domestic product of the entire nation of Barbados.

It’s little wonder, then, that many folks are cynical about college sports. Some athletes don’t even pretend to be students. There’s one controversy after another, from recruiting and pay-to-play violations to players leaving after a few seasons for the pros.

There is a place, though, where college athletics are untainted. It’s Division III, some 440 colleges and universities nationwide where competition and tradition are just as fierce as bigger universities, but student athletes play for a novel motivation: The love of the game.

“Division III athletics is the purest form of intercollegiate competition,” according to Psychology Today.

“Student-athletes are truly students first. Players are talented, competitive, and driven, but also know that they are in school to pursue an education, prepare for a career, and to develop socially, physically, spiritually, and intellectually.”

NCAA regulations bar student-athletes from receiving athletic scholarships, but that doesn’t mean they don’t receive help. Division III colleges offer grants and other financial aid packages, so students often end up with a large portion of their tuition paid.

That’s particularly true at Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities, where more than 95 percent of students receive aid – from leadership scholarships to academic fellowships to educational grants. That brings the costs of a world-class college within reach — a priceless education that is affordable.

And the rivalries, talent and level of competition at Division III? That’s the stuff of legend, especially among the seven Michigan colleges in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Since 1990, the schools have won 18 Division III national titles. And few streaks in all of sports are as impressive as the Kalamazoo College men’s tennis team, which has won or shared every division championship since 1936, while Calvin College’s men’s cross country has won 21 straight division titles.

Calvin College and Hope College are such bitter foes that ESPN recently named it one of college basketball’s greatest rivalries. Kalamazoo College and Olivet College also have a deep rivalry that dates back decades.

College athletics is just one difference between big public institutions and Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities.

All share a commitment to helping students succeed by following their own path. The colleges are smaller and emphasize community over crowds. Often less expensive than public institutions, the independents boast higher four-year graduation rates and smaller class sizes for a truly unique and affordable experience.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.

Military Friendly Schools in Michigan

military

As a veteran, you forged your own path, so people could have the freedom to choose theirs.

Now, as you chart your next step, the choices can become confusing. Plenty of benefits are available to help veterans attend colleges, but where should you begin? What separates one college from another? And do they all understand the unique perspectives of veterans?

Fortunately, there’s help. Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities are all rated “Military Friendly Schools” by the Web site GIJobs.com. In fact, two are rated in the Top Five nationwide as “Best Colleges for Veterans” by U.S. News and World Report.

Hillsdale College is ranked No. 1 among smaller colleges, while Albion College was No. 4. Both offer full-ride scholarships and plenty of support to veterans.

So do most of Michigan’s independents, which recognize the importance of your sacrifice and make accommodations from mentoring programs and support services to ease the transition.

The colleges are purposefully small. Smaller class sizes allow passionate faculty to form bonds with students that just aren’t possible at larger universities. Instead of crowds, the colleges emphasize community. Often less expensive than public institutions, the independents boast higher four-year graduation rates and smaller class sizes for a truly unique and affordable experience.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.

Links to Veterans Programs at Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities:

“And the Scholarship goes to…”

GoldenPig_You

While you’re watching the stars on the Red Carpet and at the Academy Awards tonight, you could be winning a major award yourself.

Every month, the good folks at the Michigan Colleges Alliance give away thousands in additional scholarship as part of the We Are The Independents campaign. It’s just about the easiest scholarship to enter and win. It takes under two minutes to enter. Click over to the enter form here:
http://wearetheindependents.com/win-a-scholarship/

Who knows? You may be strolling down the Red Carpet as our next big winner of a world class college education that’s affordable at one of Michigan’s top 15 independent colleges and universities.