The Simpson College Admissions Office plans on expanding in recruitment in out-of-state areas in hopes of bringing more diversity to the Simpson College campus.
“We have a couple of major goals,” President John Byrd said. “We hope to spread the Simpson name, as well as bring new life experiences and different backgrounds to the campus.”
Byrd believes Simpson’s high quality education is just one of the things that will attract students to the school. He also thinks coming to Simpson gives students from other states the opportunity to experience a new part of the country. Another aspect of Simpson that attracts students is the personal attention they receive from the faculty and staff on campus.
Currently, Simpson recruits from out-of-state areas like Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kansas City, Omaha and Chicago. Admissions plans to continue visiting these areas but also expand to Denver, Phoenix, Tucson and St. Louis.
These areas were chosen due to their great reputation and quality of students as well as recommendations from current out-of-state students from those areas.
Admissions will spread the Simpson name in these areas through college fairs, direct mailings, school visits and area receptions with students and parents. Director of Recruitment Cole Zimmerman hopes this project will involve everyone who works in the Admissions Department.
“Hopefully, everyone will get the chance to go out and work with these new schools,” Zimmerman said.
Of the 1,524 full-time students enrolled at Simpson, only 162 students or approximately 11 percent are from out of state.
“I think if you were to ask a majority of the students here, they would say they didn’t know a student from out-of-state,” said John Bolen, associate academic dean and registrar. “I think it would be great to have 200 or 300 students from out of state, then you would really start seeing more diversity on campus.”
The ways the current out-of-state students found out about Simpson vary.
A few students received brochures and information in the mail, but most have family that graduated Simpson College, like freshman Brett DePue from Orange County, Calif., whose mom was a graduate of Simpson.
Others found out about Simpson College through personal connections, like Kyle Lentendre, a freshman from White Bear, Minnesota. Kyle found out about Simpson through his sectional director at the Minnesota all-state choir festival, who happened to be a music teacher here at Simpson.
While everyone involved in this process is very excited to see how things go, they want to make sure everyone knows they are not paying any less attention to the Iowa students.
“Good ol’ Iowa students are our bread and butter,” Zimmerman said.
Byrd agrees with Zimmerman.
“We love the students we get from Iowa, as well as the surrounding states,” Byrd said.
This is a process that will take time and the results won’t be evident immediately.
Zimmerman hopes if Simpson can attract “one stud” from a new school, then next year there will be two or three new students from the same school.
Hopefully in time, Simpson students will start to see a more diverse student body on different levels. Byrd is confident in this endeavor.
“This is a very exciting time for Simpson,” Byrd said.