Financial Aid Changes In Store For Future Simpson Students

by Noel TreibelStaff Writer

Many Simpson students receive financial aid, but members of the Class of 2011 won’t see their college funding increase with tuition.

Beginning with the incoming freshman class in the fall of 2007, financial aid will remain stable unlike past years.

“Right now, your Simpson-funded gift assistant, like grants and scholarships, are increased by the same percentage tuition increases,” said Tracy Pavon, assistant vice president for enrollment and financial assistance. “It doesn’t offset the entire cost, but it does help.”

This new program won’t affect current students. Everyone enrolled at Simpson as of this year will still receive a financial aid increase each year they attend, just like they have in the past.

While many students may find this new policy to be detrimental, President John Byrd views the change as a way to help students in the long run.

“This change in our financial aid policy will allow Simpson to offer more competitive awards to new students and at the same time moderate the rate of future tuition increases,” Byrd said.

Along with keeping awards stable, Simpson also plans to increase the awards given to freshmen

“When we were looking at total financial aid about how we distribute to new students, we weren’t as competitive with some of our awards to [attract] students we want to come to Simpson,” Byrd said.

These financial aid changes were made to help ease the percent of tuition increases.

“We had three goals for this,” Byrd said. “First we wanted to increase our [ability to] compete. We also wanted to moderate the rate of tuition increases. … Our goal is also to continue to invest in the overall quality of the institution.”

Increasing financial aid for students past their freshman year causes an increase in the overall tuition, something Simpson is trying to avoid.

Tuition for the 2006-2007 academic year is $28,544, which is an increase of 6.4 percent from the previous year.

However, Byrd hopes to ease this burden in future years.

“We want to keep our tuition increase somewhere around 4 percent,” Byrd said.

The college plans to make financial awards comparable to other schools from the first year a student attends Simpson. Keeping these awards competitive will put freshmen in a better position for their first year, according to Byrd.

The scholarships directly awarded by Simpson, such as the Presidential Scholarship, won’t increase each year for students as tuition goes up.

However, loans will increase in price because students will need to take more out to cover the difference.

Simpson is one of the few colleges that increases the amount of aid its student receive every year.

“On the national scale, we were very unique in what we do,” Byrd said. “We were a small minority in how we distributed financial aid.”

The question is whether this change will affect Simpson’s enrollment.

“I think it will affect the enrollment because tuition is so high, especially if the student has to pay for their own schooling,” freshman Megan Smith said.