The reality of living off campus


Photo to the Simpsonian

Cameron While lives off campus in an apartment in Indianola.

by Taryn Bertini, Staff Reporter

Simpson College has a strict policy about living on campus while being enrolled as a student and has very few exceptions to allow students to live off campus.

Their mission statement says living on campus “puts you in the heart of campus activity with close access to classes and a chance to live and learn on campus.”

Being required to live in the dorms your first year of college is normal at any university, but even as a junior or senior, Simpson still requires you to live on campus in apartments provided by the school.

Campus apartments have most of the amenities a normal apartment would have, such as a full kitchen, living room, couches, closets and laundry facilities.

Simpson still requires those who live in apartments to pay for a meal plan. Many students have voiced their frustration about this because they finally have a full kitchen to use to make their own meals but are paying money for a meal plan they might not fully use.

The Campus Handbook states exceptions to the live-on-campus requirement are only for those who live at home with a parent in close proximity, students that are 24 years or older, veterans, married students or students with dependent children living with them.

All students have the ability to go through the appeal process to live off campus, but decisions are ultimately made by the Dean of Students, Matt Hansen.

Junior Cameron While currently lives in an apartment off campus in Indianola. 

While said he had no option but to live off campus and get his own place because he is raising his siblings. 

Although Simpson’s residency policy is very strict, While said he had no issues dealing with residence life to get the exception.

“I had to fill out an appeal process and worked with Matt Hansen, but he was great and worked with me. They understood my reasoning and offered support and guidance,” While said.

Senior Desmond Alexander chose to live at home with his family in Des Moines this school year. 

“I chose to live off campus because I feel I would be more focused, be around my family more often, and I couldn’t focus on what I had to do sharing the same room with someone I’ve never met before,” Alexander said.

Another policy keeping students from moving off campus is the risk of losing some of their scholarships. The Student Handbook states that  “financial aid will be adjusted for off-campus students.”

While said he had little issues with the alteration of his financial aid. “I still have some scholarships, they were just halved except for the Simpson Promise, I did lose that since I’m not living on campus.”

Alexander had a similar experience. “At first, they denied it because of what it would have to do towards my student aid, also including that it would make things more stressful. But after talking and going over numbers, it didn’t affect me that well,” Alexander said.

Both Alexander and While have thoroughly enjoyed living off campus compared to student housing because it has provided them with more freedom and they have the ability to make their space their own.