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Hillsdale College Proves Again Traditional Education Equals Real-World Success

A funny thing happened when national test results were announced this month to become certified accountants.

Hillsdale College finished in the top 3 percent, ranking 22nd out of 776 schools whose recent graduates took the United Certified Public Accountants exam.

It’s kind of a big deal. Because Hillsdale doesn’t hide from the fact that it’s a classic liberal arts school, providing students with a well-rounded education in western civilization and great books rather than training them for a job.

“Anyone who questions the value of a liberal arts education should look at the students graduating from Hillsdale,” said David Whalen, Hillsdale College provost.

“These CPA exam results demonstrate the merits of our rigorous core curriculum and the students who rise to the challenge of it. When the liberal arts are taught well, students acquire deep learning as well as the ability to master demanding professional skills.”

More on that in a second. First, the results. Hillsdale students who study accounting and took the CPA test for the first time had a passing rate of 78 percent, with an average score of 81. That’s more than 31 percentage points ahead of the overall national pass rate of 49.5.

Now, about liberal arts. Among some schools, it’s not trendy to admit they teach liberal arts. Hillsdale is unabashed and unbowed about what it provides, standing firm in its commitment to traditional education despite the prevailing tide of conventional wisdom.

Now, the rest of the world has caught up. Study after study shows Fortune 500 companies, particularly the tech industry, prefer graduates of liberal arts schools.

That’s because the graduates not only learn valuable skills such as accounting — as the recent test results prove — but they learn how to think critically, ask questions and create.

It’s a novel concept and one embraced by Hillsdale College and Michigan’s top 14 independent colleges and universities.

The schools pride themselves on partnering award-winning faculty — who are experts in their fields — with students, forging tight bonds that allow them to chart their own path.

Class sizes are small. Community is cherished. Knowledge is king. It’s an experience that simply isn’t available at traditional universities. And despite what you may have heard, independents are often less expensive and boast higher four-year graduation rates than four-year institutions.

Be bold. Be different. Go independent.