Hundreds of high-school students swarmed the Simpson campus last Friday for Junior Visit Day.
“It’s such an important day for us, campus-wide,” Director of Admissions Programs Alison Swanson said. “It’s such a big day, from the coaching staff to the students presenting at the organizational fair to the president.”
The number of students attending usually averages 150, but more than 200 students attended this year.
Junior Visit Day is designed to influence high-school students early in the college-search process.
“A pretty good percentage of them who visit will at least revisit,” Swanson said. “Our biggest goal of Junior Visit Day is to get them to come back.”
The event seems to hit its mark: current junior Tracy Schiltz attended the event in high school.
“It gives you an overall feeling of what it’s like on the campus,” Schiltz said. “Then I think that you definitely need to do another visit after that to get the one-on-one attention.”
Brady Eagle, a junior at West Branch High School, believes the visit will impact his college choice.
“It’s nice getting to see what the campus looks like and see where everything’s at,” Eagle said.
Simpson College publicizes the event heavily by sending admissions counselors to different high schools as well as fliers to each student.
“They came to our school during lunchtime,” Eagle said. “I signed up just to get my name out there. Then I went online and looked at the photos. It looked like a pretty cool campus, so I decided to check it out.”
Simpson’s Office of Admissions receives extra help from high-school guidance counselors who also discuss campus visits with students.
“I think it’s a great thing for Simpson to have,” said Leah Heidemann, the guidance counselor for Adel-Desoto-Minburn High School. “We encourage students to make college visits to see what it’s all about and to help guide their decision-making.”
The students started the day in Pote Theater with an organization fair. After check-in, the students attended an opening session and went on a campus tour. Students went to two 20-minute academic sessions with faculty members before going to lunch. The day ended with a presentation by Counseling and Career Services and a question-and-answer panel of current Simpson students.
Even though one of Simpson’s most emphasized characteristics is individuality, Swanson doesn’t think Junior Visit Day diminishes that.
“When we first started doing it one of my first years here, it was a big move for Simpson because we pride ourselves on individual visits,” Swanson said. “For us to do a big visit day was kind of a jump for us. It’s definitely been worth it.”