The idea did not thrill Colton Good. He was ready to move forward with his life.
After all, the Ogden High School product had joined the Iowa Army National Guard in 2012, which took him to Kuwait and Iraq in 2014-15. He was a Black Hawk helicopter mechanic and crew chief, working out of Boone, Iowa.
When his deployment ended, Good attended Des Moines Area Community College for business administration. A mentor asked him where he planned to finish his four-year degree.
“I think I’m just going to skip it,” he replied.
“Do not do that,” the friend said. “I will hunt you down and make you go to school.”
Good took him seriously. He decided to explore transfer possibilities.
“I found that Simpson would take all of the credits I had at DMACC and transfer them directly toward finishing my bachelor’s degree,” he said. “I toured the campus, talked to a couple of professors and was convinced that Simpson was the best choice for me.”
There were two other factors. Younger brothers Cody, a senior, and Cayce, a sophomore, also were attending Simpson. Both were members of the basketball team. Colton said it was fun to eat lunch with his brothers or run into them on campus.
Colton said Simpson does a great job of making veterans feel welcome.
“The benefits I have received from the military have helped me to attend Simpson and graduate debt-free,” he said. “The scholarship I received from Simpson and my education benefits covered the whole cost of tuition. It is a great feeling knowing I will graduate and not have any student loans to pay off.”
He credits Troy King, Veteran Services coordinator; Rhonda Pooley, assistant to the Registrar; and Tricia Geelan, Transfer Admissions coordinator with answering his questions and helping him apply for veteran benefits.
“Rhonda did an excellent job of helping me set up my education benefits,” he said. “I haven’t had any issues so far, but the comfort in knowing there are people willing to help any problems I have, or just sit down and chat with, is a great feeling.”
During his campus visit, Colton met Marilyn Mueller, a professor of management who would become his advisor. She told him about the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization at Simpson.
“Joining was the best decision I have made,” he said. “It has allowed me to learn so much more about entrepreneurship, and has introduced me to a lot of new business connections to expand my network. Through one of those connections, I was able to start a business this past January with a local real estate agent, Terry Pauling.”
Cody said he’s proud of his older brother, but not surprised.
“I’m not shocked, knowing him, because he can do anything he puts his mind to,” he said.
For the Good family, graduation day was a family reunion. Cody, who studied actuarial science, and Colton, whose degree will be in management, both participated in the ceremony. Their parents, Chuck and Sally, were there, along with brother Cayce, brother Chandler and his girlfriend, Dani Dohlman.
“I can’t say enough about all the good things Simpson College has offered,” Sally Good said. “Advisors that helped them discover their passions; professors that sparked their interest, answered their questions, in and outside of class, and helped them learn to manage their time around busy athletic and National Guard schedules; coaches who believe in academics first, teach how to be a team player, and make a sincere effort to know families. And a special word for the admissions staff that helped Colton complete his degree in a minimum amount of time.”
Colton said he made the right choice.
“The support to achieve my goals and future plans has been phenomenal here,” he said. “I knew I would get a high-quality education, but all of the extra opportunities I have been able to take advantage of has set me up for success better than I could have imagined.”
And he has a message for his fellow veterans:
“I would tell them they could try to find a better school, but they won’t have any luck. Simpson is an excellent school full of the most helpful people that want nothing but to see you succeed.”