hillsdale college tuition

Founded by abolitionists, Hillsdale College has been educating Michigan students since 1844. This selective private school is known for offering a diverse liberal arts education and boasting a high price of admission.

While Hillsdale’s high sticker price could cause students to think twice about applying, the truth is that many students pay far less than advertised to attend this institution. Read on to learn more about the variability of college pricing, along with what it really costs to attend Hillsdale College.

Why College Costs Are Highly Variable

The Hillsdale College sticker price can cause anxiety for both students and parents. However, it’s important to remember that college costs can vary drastically, with a majority of students paying less than the list price. You can find the financial aid net price, or actual cost of attending school, by adding up the cost of all forms of financial aid, including federal, state, and local aid, scholarships, and grants, and subtracting that number from the brochure cost.

Another factor to consider with regard to college pricing is whether schools are public or private. Although public schools often come with lower sticker prices, they don’t tend to have the robust endowments offered by private schools. So private institutions like Hillsdale may have more funding available in the form of scholarships and grants.

What Is the List Price at Hillsdale College?

This Michigan institution has a relatively high list price. For the 2016-2017 school year, the cost of tuition and fees at Hillsdale College was $38,922. The students most likely to pay the full price were those from families earning more than $175,000 a year, along with those in the bottom 70% of accepted applicants.

What Is the Hillsdale College Financial Aid Net Price?

The financial aid net price of attending Hillsdale is slightly less than the list price. For the 2016-2017 academic year, students paid $35,091 on average to attend this institution.

How Much Merit Aid Do Hillsdale College Students Receive?

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of your Hillsdale College degree, merit aid may be the solution. Fortunately, this institution is known for being generous with this form of aid; in fact, 95.3% of students at Hillsdale receive merit aid, with an average award of $14,477. 

For students who don’t qualify for financial aid, the average net price to attend school was $24,445.

Basic expenses for the 2021-2022 academic year at Hillsdale are as follows:



Board (Knorr Family Dining Room)

General Fees


*Tuition includes both Fall and Spring semesters with a course load of 12-17 credits.


The tuition expense for each additional credit hour over 17 hours is $810; for fewer than 12 credit hours, the charge is $1,140 per credit hour.

Room Charge

The room charge is based on double occupancy. The additional charge for a single room is $310 per semester upon availability. The additional expense for a double room requested for single use will be one-and-one-half times the usual double room rate. The additional cost for a suite room is $540 per semester. The additional cost for a Townhouse Room room is $790 per semester. The additional cost for Washington, D.C.-based Hillsdale House Apartments is $265 per week.

Meal Plans

There are six meal plan choices available to students. Two of these plans provide a fixed number of meals per week. Four of these plans include “Liberty Bucks,” a credit that can be used at any on-campus food service.

NameMeals AllowedLiberty Bucks/SemesterCost/Year
All inclusive19/week$25$6,120
15 meal plan15/week-0-$5,660
Block 200200/semester$200$6,120
Block 150150/semester$75$5,660

The following meal plans are only available to off-campus and Suite residents:

NameMeals AllowedLiberty Bucks/SemesterCost/Year
10 Meal Plan10/week-0-$4,200
Block 100100/semester$25$4,200

A student may change from one meal plan to the other only until August 26, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. for the fall semester, and January 13, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. for the spring semester.

General Fees

The general student fees of $1,312 per year include a subscription to the Collegian student newspaper, Winona yearbook, and Tower Light literary journal, Student Federation dues, admission to athletic and fine arts events, recreational sports, Health Services access, building access and usage fees for the Knorr Memorial Student Center, Grewcock Student Union, Health Education and Sports Complex, Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center, and other buildings, general student computer services, identification card, orientation fee, and graduation cap and gown.

Exceptions to fees above are:

  • members of the Hillsdale College staff
  • any student carrying fewer than seven hours
  • WHIP students
  • current high school students attending college part time

The College must necessarily reserve the right to make changes in costs without notice as circumstances may require.

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