Seeking the Good, the True, and the Beautiful: A Student’s Commentary on Hillsdale College

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Editors’ Note: The Editors of The Prickly Pear are pleased to publish this essay by Ellie Fromm. Ellie has been serving as an intern at The Prickly Pear since her junior year in high school and with great effectiveness and quality. Her acceptance into Hillsdale College is not surprising but is certainly celebrated by us. Congratulations to her for this well earned opportunity. The future of our Republic and our liberty as blessed Americans rest in the hands of young adults like Ellie. Godspeed and much success to you Ellie.


I am a homeschooled high school senior and have had the opportunity, beginning in 10th grade, to study at three different higher education institutions through dual enrollment. The three institutions are Phoenix College (a community college in Arizona), Grand Canyon University ( a private university in Arizona), and Hillsdale College (a private Liberal Arts college in Michigan). Each were different experiences, all of which I am grateful for because it has helped shape who I am, both in and out of the classroom.

Unquestionably, studying at Hillsdale College has been the best experience. Classes are challenging and hard. At Hillsdale, there is no such thing as an ‘easy A’. You work for every percentage point you receive – nothing is given. At first the rigor of these courses intrigued me, now I am hooked. The application of oneself is a necessity, not only for a good grade (which is nice) but to understand and learn the good, the true, and the beautiful. The professors at Hillsdale are some of the most intelligent, modest, and insightful people you will meet at any higher education institution in America.

Hillsdale College, which accepts no federal money, is a close-knit community located in the small town of Hillsdale, MI, with an undergraduate enrollment capped at roughly 1,600. The average class size is 14 students and professors are easily accessible for questions or guidance. The Socratic method is utilized, learning through reading texts and then discussing them in class. Judeo-Christian and traditional Western values and ideologies are alive and well at Hillsdale. Think of a classical, Greco-Roman University model and you will be thinking of Hillsdale College.

I have had the opportunity of studying at Hillsdale as a distance learner this semester through the dual enrollment course American History: Colonial to Reconstruction. This course is interesting and insightful. I am learning about the history and heritage of the United States, going all the way back to the English Civil War, and how England’s pre-American colonial political sphere shaped our own. The English colonization of American colonies, the true meaning of religious freedom in the colonies, the great awakenings, and the presidential election of 1800 are just some of the many interesting topics we have explored in depth. Because of my dual enrollment history at other colleges, I can truthfully say the course quality is an educational experience unique to Hillsdale College.

Honor is a word not commonly used in today’s culture, and certainly not in most colleges or universities. However, Hillsdale intends each student to understand the responsibilities of an honorable citizen through their education both in and out of the classroom. In fact, each student is required to take a pledge, the ‘honor code’ (a very original title), during freshman orientation. The code lays out the responsibilities of an honorable adult in a republic in a straightforward fashion. It states:

A Hillsdale College student is honorable in conduct, honest in word and deed, dutiful in study and service, and respectful of the rights of others. Through education the student rises to self-government.

Where else can you find this type of responsibility handed to 18-year-olds commencing their higher education experience? Almost nowhere in today’s college venues across America. Hillsdale is placing the success and honor of the student into the student’s hands, not the faculty’s.

In closing, it is no surprise that the Hillsdale College admissions office has been overwhelmed with applications these last few years. It is a true liberal arts college. With gratitude for my acceptance, I am pleased to announce I will be attending Hillsdale College this August in the Class of 2027.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

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