A Sibling at Simpson = $1000

by Katey Wright

You always knew having a brother or sister would come in handy,but who knew they could help you afford your college education?

For more than 20 years, Simpson has been issuing multipledependency grants for up to $1,000 to siblings.

Although the grant is not based on financial need, it’s stilllisted as part of the student’s financial aid award.

Any family with two or more children at Simpson is eligible forthis type of financial aid, as long as the students are dependentand attend school full time during the same term.

This year the grant is benefiting 81 students according toTracie Pavon, assistant vice president and director of financialassistance.

However, Pavon also stated there isn’t a big difference betweenthe total amount of financial aid given to students with siblingsat Simpson and the financial aid given to other students.

Some sibling-free students are indifferent to this grant.

“It doesn’t really matter to me, but it would be nice to have asibling so I could get it,” freshman Erin Eiserman said.

Pavon said no one has ever complained to her about the discount.She said she “hasn’t heard anything bad from either party.”

There are students who feel the grant is an unfair extraadvantage for those with brothers or sisters.

“It’s nice for those people who do get it,” freshman AngelaPowell said. “But it seems kind of unfair for those who don’tqualify.”

Students who do receive a multiple dependency grant find it veryhelpful.

Sophomore Tamra Gustafson considers herself lucky to have asibling at Simpson.

“It’s easier for my dad since he’s paying for college,”Gustafson said. “It’s good because you don’t have to pay asmuch.”

Gustafson said the grant can be compared to legacy discounts atother colleges. Often, colleges and universities give legacy grantsto students if one of their parents or grandparents attended thatschool.

“A lot of private colleges have dependency grants; it’s verycommon,” Pavon said.

Simpson’s multiple dependency grant was first introduced in1979. Then, it totaled $300 for each student. Three years ago theaward was $500 per sibling, and currently each student can receiveup to $1,000.

Even though this grant is aimed at families with two or morechildren attending Simpson, the college offers a number of othergrants and types of financial aid. The Cowles Fellowship,Presidential and Honor Scholarships are all available for studentsbased on extraordinary academic or extracurricular achievement.