Simpson College was officially founded in 1860 as a faith-based academy for the United Methodist Church. It’s named for Matthew Simpson, a Methodist minister known for giving the sermon at President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. Since 1870, Simpson has published the country’s oldest continuous student newspaper, “The Simpsonian.” Endowed for $78 million, Simpson College is a premier private, co-educational liberal arts institution maintaining its evangelical Christian ties. With a park-like, 85-acre suburban campus, Simpson is located in Indianola just 12 miles south of Iowa’s capital hub of Des Moines. Each year, around 1,400 full-time and 500 part-time students enroll.
According to the U.S. News, Simpson College is the 143rd best national liberal arts college and 101st top school for military veterans. Forbes ranked Simpson as the Midwest’s 111th best college with the 220nd most grateful grads nationally. Great Value Colleges lauded Simpson College as the Midwest’s seventh most affordable private school. In Washington Monthly, Simpson was crowned the 37th best bang for the buck among America’s liberal arts colleges. Affordable Colleges Online placed Simpson among Iowa’s top ten schools for ROI. The Institute of International Education also recognized Simpson College among the top 100 U.S. schools for studying abroad.
Simpson College Accreditation Details
Recently reaffirmed in 2015, Simpson College is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges’ Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This approval makes Simpson eligible for Title IV funding through the U.S. Department of Education. Furthermore, teaching programs are recognized by the Iowa Department of Education. Simpson’s athletic training degree meets the guidelines of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The Music Department is also accredited via the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Simpson College Application Requirements
Even though there’s an acceptance rate of 85 percent, getting into Simpson College isn’t easy with the selective admissions process. First-years must be graduating from a licensed high school or pass the GED test. Following a 16-unit college-prep curriculum is required, including four years of English and four years of math. Admission is based upon academic record, potential, and extra-curricular activities. On average, Simpson students achieve an average secondary GPA of 3.49. Admitted freshmen also have a mean ACT score of 25. Credits can be provided for Advanced Placement exams scored 3 or higher.
Undergraduate transfers with at least 36 graded, transferrable credits from a regionally accredited college or university can forgo the freshman requirements. Incoming transfers must hold a minimum cumulative collegiate GPA of 2.0. Credits are accepted for courses graded “C” or higher. Those holding an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree will fulfill Simpson’s general education core. Veterans could be eligible to receive credit for military service. International learners from non-English countries must score at least 575 (paper) or 90 (Internet) on the TOEFL exam. For Simpson’s two master’s programs, applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
Before the final deadline on July 1st, interested students can apply to Simpson College for free by submitting the following:
• Online, printable, or Common Application form
• Official high school and collegiate transcripts
• Standardized test scores (ACT code 1354 or SAT code 6650)
• High school counselor report form
• At least two professional recommendations
• Current resume or CV (graduate students)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Traditional full-time undergraduates attending Simpson are charged $35,209 per year regardless of state residency. Students are billed a $337 activities fee, $130 campus center fee, and $200 technology fee annually. Standard housing adds another $4,569 each year. Meal plans cost an average of $4,103. Part-time undergraduates will pay $625 per credit hour. Evening and online courses cost less at $397 each credit. Senior citizens receive a discount for $190 per credit. Graduate students must afford $525 per credit or $6,471 annually.
No one pays full tuition at Simpson College though because 100 percent earn assistance. The NCES reports that the average financial aid package is $21,819. Institutional awards are abundant, including the Freshmen Merit Scholarship, Presidential Transfer Scholarship, DMACC Honors Scholarship, and George Washington Carver Fellowship. Students’ FAFSA may qualify them for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or TEACH Grant. In-state residents should apply for the Iowa Tuition Grant or Iowa Education and Training Voucher (ETV). United Methodist members could receive the Matthew Simpson Scholarship for $2,000. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available for 10 to 20 hours weekly. Veterans benefits are granted via the Yellow Ribbon Program. Students could also borrow Federal Direct, PLUS, or Perkins loans.
Simpson College is a small liberal arts school with a big assortment of academics. Students can currently select from 49 bachelor’s programs and 36 minors. Some unique undergraduate majors include Clinical Health Science, Forensic Science, Global Management, Multimedia Journalism, Neuroscience, Public Relations, and Sports Administration. Pre-professional tracks are available in 10 fields from engineering to pharmacy. Graduate students could also pursue the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice or Master of Arts in Teaching. Simpson’s “engaged citizenship” curriculum includes developing critical thinking, communication, leadership, and reasoning skills. There’s a student-faculty ratio of 12:1 for close professor and peer interaction.
For an extended classroom, Simpson College has a Guaranteed Internship Program. Nearby placements have included Des Moines Metro Opera, Iowa History Center, and Iowa Department of the Blind. Students can engage in experiments for the Annual Research Symposium. To fulfill the curriculum’s global requirement, most Simpson students study abroad in nations like Argentina, England, French Polynesia, and Thailand. Anyone holding a major cumulative GPA of 3.5 can join Simpson’s award-winning Honors Program. Religion is another major component of campus life with non-denominational worship weekly in Smith Chapel. Around 85 percent of students live on-campus in four residence halls and seven apartment complexes.
Studying isn’t the only pastime offered at Simpson College. Based on their interests, students can choose from 65 clubs and organizations. Students could contemplate with Philosophy Club, get creative with Starving Artists Club, give back with Habitat for Humanity, or pledge Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Students congregate with friends in the newly renovated, 55,000-square foot Kent Campus Center. Since 1911, Campus Day has suspended classes for outdoor fun. The Annual High School Theatre Festival is held every November too. For student-athletes, Simpson College has 18 varsity teams in NCAA Division III, including softball’s 1999 national champions.