College Costs

The Simpson Promise

If you thought attending Simpson was out of reach, we’ve got great news for you!

The Simpson Promise offers you the chance to obtain the excellent educational benefits and life-changing campus experience of Simpson College at a price you can afford.

The Simpson Promise covers the full cost of tuition (inclusive of Simpson, federal and state gift assistance) for qualified students from Iowa families with a 2016 family adjusted gross income at or below $60,000.

A lot of people talk about making college affordable. Simpson is doing something about it with this bold new initiative.

Don’t qualify for The Simpson Promise? We have something else for you! click here

To be eligible for The Simpson Promise, you must:

  • Be an Iowa resident – 2018 graduate of an Iowa high school
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than July 1, 2018, and be eligible for federal aid
  • Reside on campus
  • Have a 2016 family adjusted gross income at or below $60,000
  • Be a full-time, accepted, incoming first-year student

Simpson is committed to providing the grant/scholarship amount awarded to the student in their first year, for all four years at Simpson, provided they are in good academic standing and complete the FAFSA. Students are responsible for the costs of room, board, and fees.

The Simpson Promise
represents our dedication to the success of our students. It is, in fact, the heart of our mission, and it has been that way since we were founded 157 years ago.


President Obama Wants to Hold Colleges Accountable

The New York Times article, “Obama’s Plan Aims to Lower Cost of College,” outlines President Obama’s ambitious proposal to make colleges more accountable and affordable by rating them and ultimately linking those ratings to federally funded financial aid. The plan is designed to rate colleges based on such measures as:

  • Tutition
  • Graduation Rates
  • Debt
  • Percentage of lower-income students who attend

It should be noted that all of this information is currently available through a variety of sources, as outlined in my book, “Show Me the Money: Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Making the Right College Choice.” However, most students and families remain confused by the complexities of the college admissions and financial aid processes. As outlined in my book, the overarching purpose of the proposal is to assist students and families in “Making the Right College Choice.”

The article notes that Ohio, Tennessee, and Indiana are moving in the direction of linking financial aid to educational outcomes. Currently, almost all of the $150 billion in annual student aid is distributed to colleges and universities based on the number of students a college enrolls, regardless of how many students graduate or how much student loan debt they incur.

Based the actions, or continuing inaction, of the current Congress, students and parents still must shoulder the responsibility of thoroughly researching colleges and their respective financial aid policies. I continue to be mystified at how many parents balk at paying $19.95 for a comprehensive guide to college admissions and financial aid planning, only to find themselves repaying thousands of dollars in student loans long after their children have left college–with or without a degree.

Lowest Cost Colleges for Out-of-State Students

Out of state tuition can be as much as 300 percent higher than in-state tuition at many public colleges and universities. The following listing of the ten public universities with the lowest out-of-state tuition rates was taken from U.S. News & World Reports. The cost of these colleges are in stark contrast to the out-of-state tuition cost at the colleges reflected in the second table.

The Facts About Who Goes to College

The U.S. Department of Education provides information pertaining to the make up of U.S. undergraduate students (Profile of Undergraduate Students) in 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities. The report provides important insights into who the students are, grades they earn, amount of financial aid they receive, and the numbers who move on from freshman year toward their degree.

Important highlights are:

  • Only American Indian and Pacific Islander students attend 4-year colleges at a rate greater than 50 percent
  • With the exception of Asians (79.4 percent), over 80 percent of all students attend college in their home state
  • The percentage of female college students outnumber males in all racial groups with the largest gap between Black females (63.1 percent) and Black males (36.9 percent)
  • Over 50 percent of all students receive financial aid and leave college with at least $5,500 in student loan debt
  • Over 30 percent of all college students take at least one remedial course

Where students attend college:

American Indian

  • 53.3 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 37.8 percent attend 2-year colleges


  • 42.5 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 45.5 percent attend 2-year colleges


  • 46.6 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 42.9 percent attend 2-year colleges


  • 45.3 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 40.2 percent attend 2-year colleges

Pacific Islander

  • 55.8 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 32.7 percent attend 2-year colleges


  • 49.5 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 40.9 percent attend 2-year colleges

The type of colleges students attend:

American Indian

  • 74.4 percent attend Public
  • 8.7 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 10.6 percent For-profit


  • 72.0 percent attend Public
  • 12.7 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 4.9 percent For-profit


  • 65.9 percent attend Public
  • 11.3 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 15.9 percent For-profit


  • 67.0 percent attend Public
  • 11.6 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 13.2 percent For-profit

Pacific Islander

  • 69.0 percent attend Public
  • 13.6 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 8.5 percent For-profit


  • 70.9 percent attend Public
  • 14.5 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 6.8 percent For-profit

Percentage of college enrollment by grade level:

American Indian

  • 46.6 percent first-year
  • 31.8 percent second-year
  • 9.1 percent third-year
  • 9.7 percent fourth-year


  • 36.9 percent first-year
  • 25.4 percent second-year
  • 12.7 percent third-year
  • 18.2 percent fourth-year


  • 47.8 percent first-year
  • 27.3 percent second-year
  • 11.1 percent third-year
  • 11.4 percent fourth-year


  • 46.8 percent first-year
  • 27.3 percent second-year
  • 11.4 percent third-year
  • 11.4 percent fourth-year

Pacific Islander

  • 45.7 percent first-year
  • 26.6 percent second-year
  • 11.0 percent third-year
  • 11.3 percent fourth-year


  • 37.9 percent first-year
  • 27.5 percent second-year
  • 14.0 percent third-year
  • 16.6 percent fourth-year

Percentage of students who attend college in their own state:

  • American Indian: 82.6 percent
  • Asian: 79.4 percent
  • Black: 85.9 percent
  • Hispanic: 92.6 percent
  • Pacific Islander: 89.1 percent
  • White: 86.7 percent

Percentage of grades student receive:

American Indian

  • 15.3 percent Mostly A’s
  • 15.2 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.1 percent Mostly B’s
  • 21.9 percent B’s and C’s
  • 11.7 percent Mostly C’s
  • 11.8 percent C’s and D’s or lower


  • 19.2 percent Mostly A’s
  • 23.6 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.9 percent Mostly B’s
  • 16.0 percent B’s and C’s
  • 9.7 percent Mostly C’s
  • 6.6 percent C’s and D’s or lower


  • 9.7 percent Mostly A’s
  • 17.4 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.7 percent Mostly B’s
  • 21.4 percent B’s and C’s
  • 14.3 percent Mostly C’s
  • 12.6 percent C’s and D’s or lower


  • 12.6 percent Mostly A’s
  • 19.3 percent A’s and B’s
  • 26.9 percent Mostly B’s
  • 19.8 percent B’s and C’s
  • 11.6 percent Mostly C’s
  • 9.8 percent C’s and D’s or lower

Pacific Islander

  • 12.6 percent Mostly A’s
  • 18.5 percent A’s and B’s
  • 27.4 percent Mostly B’s
  • 18.0 percent B’s and C’s
  • 14.3 percent Mostly C’s
  • 9.2 percent C’s and D’s or lower


  • 19.2 percent Mostly A’s
  • 25.1 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.7 percent Mostly B’s
  • 15.5 percent B’s and C’s
  • 8.8 percent Mostly C’s
  • 6.6 percent C’s and D’s or lower

Male and female college students by racial group:

American Indian

  • 54.9 percent female
  • 45.1 percent male


  • 53.6 percent female
  • 46.4 percent male


  • 63.1 percent female
  • 36.9 percent male


  • 59.6 percent female
  • 40.4 percent male

Pacific Islander

  • 56.0 percent female
  • 44.0 percent male


  • 55.2 percent female
  • 44.8 percent male

Percent of dependent college students who receive financial aid:

American Indian

  • 70.8 percent receive financial aid
  • $5,500 in average loans


  • 53.4 percent receive financial aid
  • $6,600 in average loans


  • 76.2 percent receive financial aid
  • $6,900 in average loans


  • 69.0 percent received financial aid
  • $6,700 in loans

Pacific Islander

  • 61.5 percent receive financial aid
  • $7,200 in average loans


  • 63.5 percent receive financial aid
  • $7,100 in average loans

Percent of college students who took at least one remedial course:

  • American Indian: 43.9 percent
  • Asian: 38.1 percent
  • Black: 47.3 percent
  • Hispanic: 45.1 percent
  • Pacific Islander: 40.6 percent
  • White: 33.1 percent

How to Research Schools

Parents and students have the opportunity to become more informed than ever about their elementary, middle, high school, and college. The websites on this page allow parents and students to research school performance, test scores, demographics, graduation rates, national ranking, and student impressions.

SAT, ACT, and AP Exam Scores

ACT Scores for the entire country and by individual state.

SAT Scores by state, racial group, and subject area.

AP Report to the Nation provides AP exam data by state, racial group, and subject area.

K-12 School Demographics

The U.S. Department of Education website provides information about federal programs, parent rights, Title I schools, etc.

The National Center for Education Statistics website is the central source of information for K-12 public and private schools, as well as colleges and universities.

To identify your school’s performance, as measured on their Adequate Yearly Progress Report (AYP), google your state and the term AYP, e.g., “Georgia AYP.” This should take you to your state department of education website where you may identify your school and read their report.

Read AYP 101 for more information

College Information

There are a number of sources for gathering information on U.S. colleges and universities. The National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator website provides comprehensive information.

The College Results Online website provides extensive institutional information for all U.S. colleges and universities such as admission rates, graduation rates, costs, demographics, and student enrollment.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund provides a listing of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Newsweek ranking of U.S. Colleges and Universities

Princeton Review College Rankings

A comprehensive listing of Community Colleges by state

Aspen Institute’s ranking of Community Colleges

The College Confidential website provides discussion forums were parents and students share their experiences

The College Prowler website provides comprehensive information from students regarding financial aid, best experiences, campus life, etc.

Financial Aid

The Project on Student Debt provides important information, reports, and research regarding student loan debt.

The FinAid website provides an extensive overview of the types, costs, and processes associated with borrowing and repaying student loans.

Comparison of 5 top scholarship search engines for information about scholarship search websites.

The U.S. Government’s Federal Student Aid website guides you through a number of questions that will assist in identifying your options for paying for college. It will estimate your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), whether or not you are Pell Grant eligible, and the type and amounts of Federal Student Loans you qualify for.

Please share this page with your friends and classmates. This page will be continually updated as more research websites are identified.

Peace Corps Opportunities

Peace Corps Overview

The Peace Corps provides Volunteers to more than 70 countries requesting assistance in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, South America, Europe, the Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. The Peace Corps is an independent U.S. government agency. Thousands of new Volunteers are needed each year to work in a variety of areas, including:

  • Education
  • Health and HIV/AIDS
  • Business and Information & Communication Technology
  • Environment
  • Youth and Community Development
  • Agriculture

The length of service is 27 months, which includes an average of three months of in-country training that provides language, cross-cultural, technical, and health and safety skills.

Volunteers are placed where their skills match the needs of host countries. They live in the communities they serve, from small rural villages to large urban cities. Their work around the globe represents a legacy of service that has become a significant part of America’s history and positive image abroad. Their desire to make a difference has improved the lives of millions of people around the world and at home.

Volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them well for professional opportunities.

Unlike many other international volunteer programs, there is no fee to participate in the Peace Corps. To be eligible for service, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A U.S. citizen

Volunteers have a variety of skills, work experience, and education levels—90 percent have at least an undergraduate degree. There is no upper age limit. The average age of Volunteers is 28. Currently, the oldest Volunteer is over 80.

The benefits of being a Volunteer are many, including the following Peace Corps provisions:

  • Student loan assistance
  • A “readjustment” allowance of $7,425 (pre-tax) upon completion of service
  • Language, cross-cultural, and technical training
  • Travel to and from country of service
  • A monthly living and housing allowance
  • Medical and dental care
  • 48 paid vacation days
  • Leave for family emergencies
  • Graduate school opportunities such as scholarships, credit for service, fellowships, and internships
  • Transition and job support and social networking after service
  • Advantages in federal employment

The Peace Corps recommends that you submit your application as early as possible so we can match your skills to openings as they become available. Plan ahead and apply nine months to a year in advance of your desired date of departure.

Click here to learn more…

CLEP Exams

The College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP) helps you receive college credit for what you already know, for a fraction of the cost of a college course. Developed by the College Board, CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program, available at more than 2,900 colleges and universities. Pass any of the 33 CLEP exams and achieve your college and career goals.

Learn About Your College’s CLEP Policy

Currently, 2,900 colleges and universities grant credit for CLEP, and each institution sets its own CLEP policy. In other words, each institution determines the exams for which it awards credits, the minimum qualifying score required to get credit, and the amount of credits that will be granted per exam. Before you take a CLEP exam, review the CLEP policy of your college or university.

How Much Credit Can You Earn?

If you pass a CLEP exam, you may earn up to 12 credits. The amount of credit you can earn on an individual CLEP exam varies with each college. Some colleges place a limit on the total amount of credit you can earn through CLEP. Other colleges may grant you exemption but no credit toward your degree.

Minimum Qualifying Score

Most colleges publish the required scores for earning CLEP credit in their general catalog or in a brochure. The required score for earning CLEP credit may vary from exam to exam. Contact your institution to find out the minimum qualifying score for each exam you’re considering.

Getting Credit for General Requirements

At some colleges, you may be able to apply your CLEP credit to the college’s core curriculum requirements. For example, CLEP credit may be given as “6 hrs. English Credit” or “3 hrs. Math Credit,” and can be used for any English or mathematics course. Find out before you take a CLEP exam what type of credit you can receive from your institution, or whether you will be exempted from a required course but receive no credit.

Prior Course Work

Some colleges won’t grant credit for a CLEP exam if you’ve already attempted a college-level course closely aligned with that exam. For example, if you successfully completed English 101 or a comparable course on another campus, you’ll probably not be permitted to receive CLEP credit in that same subject. Also, some colleges won’t permit you to earn CLEP credit for a course that you failed.

Additional Stipulations

Be sure to wait at least six months before repeating a CLEP exam of the same title. Scores of exams repeated earlier than six months will not be accepted (and test fees will be forfeited).

Colleges usually award CLEP credit only to their enrolled students. Here are some additional questions to consider:

  • Does the college require that you “validate” your CLEP score by successfully completing a more advanced course in the subject?
  • Does the college require the optional free-response (essay) section for the examinations in Composition and Literature as well as the multiple-choice portion of the CLEP exam you’re considering?
  • Will you be required to pass a departmental test such as an essay, laboratory, or oral exam in addition to the CLEP multiple-choice exam?

Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time will permit you to schedule the optional free-response or departmental exam when you register to take your CLEP exam.


NAACP Scholarships

NAACP Scholarship Opportunities

Each year the NAACP, through generous donations, is able to provide scholarships to outstanding students. It is the duty of our dedicated Scholarship Committee to determine the most outstanding individuals to receive these awards. The NAACP does not provide financial aid to individuals, only scholarships through this process.

The process is entirely online through our partnership with UNCF.

Be prepare to apply by gathering the following materials:

  • copy of your NAACP membership card or membership application
  • official transcript
  • two letters of recommendation from teachers or professors in the major field of specialization
  • a one-page essay
  • your student aid report
  • evidence of acceptance or full-time enrollment

United Negro College Fund Scholarships

UNCF Member Colleges

Thirty-eight historically black colleges and universities belong to the UNCF network of member institutions. UNCF provides these colleges and universities with a range of support—operating resources, student scholarships and institutional improvement support—that enables them to keep their academic programs strong and their tuitions affordable: more than 30 percent lower on average than tuition at comparable institutions.

Thanks to UNCF support, member institutions educate more than 55,000 students each year and have produced more than 400,000 graduates.


Posse Scholars

Our Foundation is a Nominating Organization

Our foundation serves as a nominating organization for the Posse Atlanta Office. Partner colleges for the Posse Atlanta are:

  1. Bard College (Scholarship Award Valued at: $190,240)
  2. Brandeis University (Scholarship Award Valued at: $184,088)
  3. Boston University (Scholarship Award Valued at: $182,744)
  4. The College of Wooster (Scholarship Award Valued at: $173,400)
  5. Syracuse University (Scholarship Award Valued at: $161,520)
  6. Texas A&M University (Scholarship Award Valued at: $105,424)

If you are high school junior living the Atlanta area, you may email: if you would like to be considered for nomination.

What the Posse Atlanta Office does

The POSSE Foundation identifies, recruits and trains public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential to become Posse Scholars. These students—many of whom might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes—receive four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner institutions of higher education. Posse also partners with graduate programs, which provide scholarships and other forms of financial assistance to Posse Alumni interested in earning advanced degrees.

Each fall, students are nominated by high schools and community-based organizations for their leadership and academic potential. Posse partner colleges and universities award merit-based leadership scholarships to multicultural teams of 10 students each. These teams (Posses) attend college together.

What the Posse Foundation provides….

Every year,* Posse works closely with its network of high schools and community-based organizations to recruit Posse Scholars. Each Posse Scholar wins a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attend one of Posse’s partner colleges or universities.

Students who are chosen to become Posse Scholars find out in late December, which means that they have committed to attend a partner university for the following semester.


To be eligible, a high school senior MUST:

  1. Be nominated by their high school or a community-based organization
  2. Be in the first term of their senior year in high school. Depending on the Posse city, nominations are often taken between the spring and early August before the new school year begins.
  3. Demonstrate leadership within their high school, community or family.
  4. Demonstrate academic potential.
  5. There is not minimum GPA needed to be maintained by a Posse Scholar, but the Scholar should keep in mind that schoolwork should be well maintained and still looked upon with a high regard.
  6. Posse has no cut offs as far as GPAs and SATs/ACTs. Posse does look for students who demonstrate high academic potential and have the desire to perform well in top ranked academic environments.

Target applicant…

Posse seeks students who are:

  • Leaders in their high schools and communities
  • Committed to their education and demonstrate academic potential
  • Interested in teamwork and diversity
  • Positive, motivated, talented, ambitious young people

Read the 2012 Alumni Report…