Simpson student debt similar to others


by Brittany Robb, Editor-in-Chief

Simpson College graduates accumulate comparable debt as graduates from other private four-year institutions in Iowa.

According to the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute for College Access and Success, graduating seniors from Simpson can expect to graduate with debt similar to Central College and Buena Vista University, among others.

Simpson’s closest comparison enrollment-wise is Loras College, with a reported 1,484 students in 2013-2014 as compared to Simpson’s 1,486.

Simpson’s total annual cost of attendance was $43,350 while students accumulated an average debt of $35,205 during a four-year academic career. For Loras, the total annual cost was $39,077 while seniors graduated with an average debt of $34,514.

With 2013-2014 as the most recent available data set, the comparison comes from larger graduating classes than the most recent incoming class of 2019. Simpson graduated 393 seniors that year while only 324 freshmen enrolled this fall.

Cornell, Coe and Central all had higher total costs while Grinnell College topped the Iowa list with $56,354 in total costs for 2013-2014.

A vast 87 percent of students graduated from Simpson with debt of some kind. Wartburg College saw 80 percent while Clarke University had a rate of 90 percent.

Financial assistance options vary from student to student. Not every incoming undergraduate can qualify for all kinds of assistance, but resources exist for various financial situations.

Simpson works to make the cost upfront and not come as a surprise to any incoming students and families. The financial assistance section of the website boasts various payment and scholarship opportunities, as well as a “Net Price Calculator” to predict costs and qualifications for financial assistance.

Simpson graduates are sitting pretty on the return of investment when it comes to future career compensation.

The national median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid are $34,343.

Simpson graduates earn $45,800 on average, well above the national rate.

While student debt is a concern for a large portion of the campus community, the cost of a Simpson education is still at a value.