For love or money, students should stay

For love or money, students should stay

by Matt Morain

The time is fast approaching when many Simpson students, especially freshmen, must decide for themselves whether they’ll be coming back in the fall or leaving to attend another institution. This is a tough decision, one that should be made only after carefully weighing the pros vs. the cons.

The primary concern of every college student should be education. You pay an exorbitant amount of money for a higher education, so you should naturally try to make the best of the four to seven years you spend getting your bachelors degree.

If you are comfortable learning in an auditorium classroom with 400 people, feel free to attend a state university. There are more options for fields of study and interest, and most times will cost a lot less.

Remember though, that to your professor you will be indistinguishable from your hundreds of classmates, and that you usually have only two grades for the semester, the midterm and the final. If you can make that kind of learning environment work for you, kudos and good luck.

One undeniably important facet of the college experience is the social aspect. Understandably, the social scene at Simpson is not comparable to that of Iowa State, U of Iowa, or even UNI. Parties, by population ratio, are going to be smaller here than at a state school, and probably more infrequent.

However, you may meet more people, but you’ll remember and know the same number at a small event as a large one. After all, you can’t possibly befriend 200 people in a night.

If the social scene is a higher priority than your furthered education and degree, than remember that any state university in Iowa pales incredibly to schools like Colorado University, U of Texas, or Florida State. If you fundamentally require wild Roman orgies/keggers, then by all means transfer out of state and into a four-year alcoholic haze.

Stronger, more intimate friendships and relationships will be built at a private college. A large school does allow a certain security of anonymity. That is, you can make a complete ass of yourself and still walk across campus unheeded by jeers or dirty looks and laughs.

However, graduating from a small school where you have to be more conscious of your reputation helps build your ability to maintain good diplomacy with both your associates and enemies. This will pay off once you graduate and plunge into the dreaded realm of financial independence (“Who sacrificed this goat in the mailroom? Jim again? All right, he’s fired. Again.”)

Simpson College offers a prestigious degree and a well-rounded, thorough education in a personal and individual environment. They ask $22,210. This sounds high, but is still comparable to other private colleges around Iowa, and in most cases, it costs less.

Yes, this is a 4.5 percent tuition increase, but it pales in comparison to the 18 percent cost increase that Iowa’s state schools are implementing for the 2002-2003 academic year.

If this is still too much to pay, financial aid does not have to be limited to what the college and your hometown give you. There are plenty of national scholarships to apply for that can help take the edge off of the hearty bill.

If griping about lack of activity in Indianola is a favorite pastime of yours, Des Moines is only 20 minutes away. There are plenty of diversions to be found. Live music, for example, is a great way to enjoy a night out or a first date.

Java Joe’s, House of Bricks, Hairy Mary’s, 7 Flags Center, or the Val Air Ballroom are all great places to go and cheer an up and coming band or boo a god-awful one off the stage.

In summation, Simpson is one of the top liberal arts colleges in Iowa and the Midwest.

You get an individual education, making your degree mean something more than just a title conferring your being processed through the college-for-profit system. The friends you make here will mean more to you due to the increased amount of time spent with them in your close-knit clique. The improving facilities are there for you to take full advantage.

In short, universities are good to visit, but you’re better off weathering out The Storm.