Barron Trump Should Apply to Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College exists to pursue truth and defend liberty.

It is, by far, the best institution of its kind in the country. No other organization of higher learning in America in existence today comes closer to achieving the goals of liberal education. Here, in this quiet corner of southern Michigan, real learning is still possible.

In this age of woke ideology and the pervasive corruption of academia—as clearly evidenced by the plagiarism scandal surrounding former Harvard president Claudine Gay—America’s leaders face a dearth of quality options for the education of their children. Hillsdale College stands out as a bastion of sanity.

For this reason, Barron Trump should apply to and then attend Hillsdale College this coming fall.

President Trump describes his youngest son in glowing terms: “Barron’s very tall—about six-eight. And, he’s a good kid. He’s a good-looking kid. He’s a great student, very good student.” As for his future, Trump last year suggested that he was “looking at” sending his son, now a high school senior, to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, starting in the fall of 2024.

The Trump family has a longstanding connection to that Ivy League university. The Donald himself, as well as his daughters Tiffany and Ivanka, and his son Don Jr., all attended. His son Eric is the lone outlier; he received his undergraduate degree at Georgetown.

By attending Hillsdale, Barron would be taking an even sharper step away from the gilded halls of America’s supposed leading institutions of higher learning. But it is a needed step. For one, America’s traditionally elite colleges are in systematic intellectual and moral decline. Underneath the gleaming exterior lies extraordinary rot.

The pro-Hamas protests, widespread affirmative action, and radical leftist orientation of the curricula reveal that America’s once great colleges no longer deserve their reputations as rightful places for the cultivation of America’s brightest minds. Hillsdale is different.

For one, Barron would not be violently hated on Hillsdale’s campus the way he would be on UPenn’s. The students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania despise Trump. When he first ran for president, 4,000 alumni signed an open letter denouncing him as a sexist, racist, and bigot. There was no open letter of support.

Former President of UPenn, Amy Gutmann, condemned Trump in 2017 for his order temporarily suspending immigration from several Middle Eastern countries. Dr. Gutmann accused President Trump of doing “horrible damage” with the executive order. Members of the UPenn faculty, for their part, challenged the very validity of President Trump’s graduation from the Wharton School of Finance.

The administration, faculty, and students of the University of Pennsylvania overwhelmingly despise President Trump. They are embarrassed to be associated with him, and they frequently denounce him in public. This does not sound like the sort of environment into which I, or any other parent, would wish to send their child.

Barron Trump at the University of Pennsylvania would be surrounded by people who hate him or who, at best, barely tolerate his presence. That sounds like a lonely situation for any young man, to say nothing of one of his promise and prominence.

Hillsdale College, by contrast, is not a hotbed of anti-Trump rage; quite the opposite, in fact. In a poll of students conducted in the fall of 2020, more than 90% of the undergrads responded that they would vote for Donald Trump in the presidential election. In 2016, more Hillsdale faculty signed an open letter in support of Donald Trump than any other institution of higher learning in the country. Most strikingly, Hillsdale College’s President, Larry Arnn, endorsed Donald Trump before the 2016 election.

Hillsdale isn’t some partisan ideology indoctrination center, either. The college has high-quality students. The average ACT score of incoming Hillsdale students for this year’s freshman class was 32. For the University of Pennsylvania it was 34.

Hillsdale has the benefit of being far away from the nation’s centers of power and prominence. For a young man like Barron, this would likely be a welcome reprieve from the prying eyes of media apparatchiks and Democratic operatives who would love nothing more than to turn his whole life into a headline. Hillsdale’s rural location could provide him the freedom of action that life at the University of Pennsylvania would not.

Finally, there is the matter of education. Getting a degree in finance or business isn’t necessarily the only course for young Mr. Trump. For one, there is very little any college professor in those matters could teach him that he could not learn far more easily from his own father. Barron should therefore consider a different sort of education: one that would invite him into the conversation of mankind’s greatest minds, discoursing on the most important and relevant topics to human life.

Liberal education of the sort practiced at Hillsdale College does not aim for simple technical expertise but at the cultivation of the highest sorts of human excellence. The college, per its charter, aims to “best develop the minds and improve the hearts” of its students through its course of study.

Hillsdale’s education, more than any other in existence today, aims at cultivating what is best and highest in young men and women of talent. The core courses at Hillsdale have students read serious texts by serious men. There is no “diversity-washing” of the curricula. Merit and greatness, not leftist ideology, are the standards for the authors taught here.

I would know. I was an undergraduate at Hillsdale and returned to pursue my PhD in politics. My education has been, quite simply, the best of its kind. There are wise teachers to be found elsewhere, but I hold that the concentration of scholars and thinkers here is the best that can be found anywhere.

Barron Trump would do well to apply to the college and then attend once accepted. In the 4th century BC, Philip II of Macedon brought Aristotle, the philosopher, to come educate his young son. That boy, known to us as Alexander the Great, conquered the known world, spreading Greek learning and philosophy all over the Asian landmass.

The young Barron, who already stands as a giant among men, shows tremendous promise. Perhaps he, like Alexander, will find his Aristotle at Hillsdale. Perhaps. At the very least, he will find her good teachers, loyal allies, and, even better, true friends. On those grounds, I assert that Barron should join the community of learning at Hillsdale College as a member of the class of 2028.

The application deadline is March 15.

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About Josiah Lippincott

Josiah Lippincott is a Ph.D. student and a former U.S. Marine Corps officer. You can find him on Telegram at https://t.me/josiah_lippincott or subscribe to his Substack here.

Photo: HILLSDALE, MI - APRIL 06: A general view of the exterior of a building at Hillsdale College. Hillsdale College is a private conservative Christian liberal arts college that has become a model of college learning for political conservatives. (Photo by Chris duMond/Getty Images)