Admissions nearly ties number for record freshmen class

by Megan Quick

As admissions counselors, selling Simpson to potential students is part of the job. For admissions counselor Ann Fattig, it’s not hard to sell something she’s passionate about.

“I love Simpson. I love everything Simpson College has to offer,” Fattig said. “I don’t have to sell Simpson, I just get to tell people about it and hopefully they fall in love too.”

Fattig is just one of many counselors who work together to do the best they can to attract students to come to Simpson.

This year, their hard work paid off with the freshman enrollment increasing from 332 last year to 408 this year. Fattig credits the large class size as a team effort. From administration and students to faculty and staff, everyone helped out.

One of the main things the Admissions Office prides themselves on is the personalized attention they offer.

“We’re very engaged through the whole process with students,” Assistant Director of Admissions Brittany Preston said. “Every office does it a little bit different but we really try to build relationships. We get a little bit more personalized than some schools.”

Simpson’s counselors know students very well by the time they leave here and that personalization is one way admissions sets Simpson apart from other private schools in Iowa, according to Fattig.

Students can be thanked for the personalization side of recruitment, as student involvement has an impact as well.

“That’s what makes Simpson Simpson. They really make the campus community what it is,” Fattig said.

Sophomore Tavarous Williams came to Simpson from Chicago, Ill. and experienced positives relationships from the start.

“I had a good relationship with everybody,” Williams said. “A lot of students got to know me really fast.”

Next to personalization, location is another main selling point the counselors lean on. They always mention how Indianola offers students the best of worlds-having a small town feel with Des Moines opportunities right around the corner.

One on one personal visits usually stem from many of the bigger visit days Simpson has to offer. Some of these days being during Iowa Private College Week, fall visit days, junior visit day, spring visit days and specific group/team days.

“Big visit programs are good for general information, and then when they get more serious they usually come back for one of those personalized visits,” Preston said.

Every student has their own reason for choosing a certain college. For some, like sophomore Tate Jackson, athletics play a major role in deciding.

For Jackson, the basketball coaches were one of the main reasons he chose Simpson.

“I liked the atmosphere of Simpson and the people, especially the coaches here,” sophomore Tate Jackson said. “They reached out to me and seemed liked they cared.”

In this aspect the coaches can also take part in recruiting.

“They recruit with us almost as much as we do,” Preston said. “If athletics are really important to them then that’s going to be a big selling point.”

This year, something admissions is trying to push is students’ success when they graduate.

“Students are finding jobs when they get to their fourth year and a lot of them have them lined up before they even graduate,” Preston said. “So looking at outcomes is important to students as well.”

This idea of pushing success ties into the new branding of “Success at Simpson” that was currently taken on.

“We love what we do, it’s exciting, it’s fun and we ultimately just want to help students find the right fit,” Preston said. “We hope that’s hear at Simpson because we do believe most students can fit here.”