Prospective students ranging from juniors and seniors in high school to transfer students have the option to take a road trip to Simpson College from various locations throughout the Midwest region.
There are seven different times during the school year in which prospective students can visit Simpson College and spend the night with a member of the Storm Overnight Squad (SOS).
“It’s actually a lot of fun because I get to meet kids who might be coming to Simpson in the future,” freshman SOS member Kyle Hauswirth said. “It’s a very good experience. It helps with my people skills and it helps me represent Simpson College in a good way.”
The trips are spread throughout the year to provide a variety of options for visiting students.
“It’s a lot of fun,” sophomore Dylan Anderson said. “You get to meet prospective students and kind of be all glorified about Simpson. I hosted three (prospective students) last year and one so far this year,”.
The students participating in the road trip get the chance to experience what campus life is like.
“In the first year residence halls we would show them the bathrooms and the different rooms so they would kind of see what it was like,” Anderson said. “We’d bring them to our room, show them where they were sleeping, meet our roommate and then try to introduce them to lots of people so they can see the variety of Simpson students. Also, anything fun like a sports game going on, just get them involved so they’re not just sitting in the room bored.”
Admissions also tries to make sure the students experience as much of Simpson College as possible and really get the feel for campus.
“The students who come to campus on the road trip arrive on campus, stay overnight with one of our Storm Overnight Squad members in the residence halls, then go on a tour of campus, sit in on classes, meet with professors and/or coaches and eat lunch before leaving campus,” Admissions Counselor Anne Fattig said.
Trip sizes vary each time, as do the number of trips each year and where the trips are from.
“This year there are road trips from Minnesota, Cedar Rapids/Dubuque, Sioux City, Southwest Iowa, Kansas City, Omaha, Sioux Falls, SD and Chicago,” Fattig said. “The locations are picked based on interest from prospective students in the area. So far this fall we’ve had 13 students who were able to make the trip from Minnesota and nine from the Cedar Rapids and Dubuque area and 30 students from Chicago.”
The cost of the road trips are covered by the admissions budget so Simpson is able to host numerous road trips.
“What we typically do with the trips is we bring them back and they eat in Pfeiffer if they get back in time or we do a pizza party for them, so it’s basically just the cost of the pizza and the vehicle,” Admissions Counselor Alyssa Hedrick said.
Many Simpson students as well as members of admissions feel the visits can be beneficial to a prospective student’s decision.
“I came for an overnight visit last fall in November, and it was a great experience,” Hauswirth said. “It really cemented my plan to come to Simpson. It really gives you an idea of what life on campus is like.”
Fattig also believes the overnight experience is invaluable.
“I think the overnight plays a big role in what they think of campus,” Fattig said. “(The students) get to experience a bit of what it is really like to be a Simpson student. The Road Trips give some students an opportunity to visit Simpson, which might not be a possibility otherwise. The students (so far this year) seemed to have a good time and many of them were talking about wanting to come back for another visit with their parents.”