Tuition, fees increase after feds implement new FAFSA rules


by Alex Kirkpatrick, Digital Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Simpson College board of trustees unanimously voted this week to approve a 4.1 percent tuition increase for the upcoming academic year, Simpson president Jay Simmons announced in an email to the student body.

News of a tuition increase would have been released in the spring, Simmons said, but due to significant changes in federal rules for Free Application for Federal Student Aid filings, the announcement was made before winter break to let students and their families “have as much time as possible to plan and apply for financial assistance.”

The federal Education Department moved the infamous financial aid form deadline to Oct. 1 – previously Jan. 1 – in an effort to make the financial aid process coincide with the college admissions cycle, meaning students had to use earlier income and tax information.

“Although I recognize there is never a good time to announce a tuition increase, I feel it is important to be absolutely transparent with you and assist you in any way we can to facilitate your continued educational experience at Simpson,” Simmons said. “While any increase in the cost of your education is not welcome news, this adjustment represents a commitment by the administration and the trustees to keep your investment in higher education manageable and in line with other institutions.”

Simmons also said this budget marks the sixth consecutive year the board of trustees has not increased the cost of room and board.

In a survey sent to students last spring, the most common issue concerned limited or weak Wi-Fi access, resulting in a new wireless system. Other improvements included residence halls and apartment accommodations and refurbished campus programming space.

A look at the 2017-18 tuition and fees:

— comprehensive fee: $45,626
— tuition: $36,969
— standard room: $3,860
— full board: $4,103
— student government fee: $354
— technology fee: $210
— campus center fee: $130

Other area colleges’ 2017-18 comprehensive fees:

— Coe College: $51,570
— Cornell College: $49,990
— Central College: $45,910
— Luther College: $49,990
— Wartburg College: $49,478
— Simpson College: $45,626