Southeast: 18 Consecutive Years and Growing


Total Fall Enrollment at 11,132


CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO., Aug. 21, 2012 – Southeast Missouri State University reports enrollment growth for the 18th consecutive year after the first full day of classes of the fall 2012 semester.

Total enrollment stands at 11,132 today, up 2.4 percent from this time last year. Fall classes at Southeast began Aug. 20.

In 2011, Southeast Missouri State University was the second fastest growing public, four-year university in the state of Missouri.

“This record of growth demonstrates Southeast’s commitment to serving a wide variety of students and offering the right mix of academic programs for today’s college student population,” said Dr. Debbie Below, associate vice president for enrollment management and director of Admissions.

Dr. Bruce Skinner, director of Residence Life, said 3,003 students are living in residence halls this fall. He said 853 volunteers assisted 1,139 new students move into their residence halls Aug. 16.

Because of the demand for on-campus housing and to accommodate Southeast’s growing campus population, there are no private rooms this year, and 38 additional students are being housed for the second consecutive year at Candlewood Suites, a Cape Girardeau hotel. A new 262-bed residence hall is currently under construction on the north end of campus, just north of the Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building, and is expected to be open for the start of the fall 2013 semester.

In recent years, the University has experienced growth in every enrollment category: new, first-time students, new transfer students, non-traditional students, students attending a regional campus, African American students and international students.

This record of growth continues in 2012. During the last four years, Southeast has grown an average of 1.9 percent annually. Opening day 2012 enrollment outpaces that figure, although Below said these rates are subject to change at the fourth week census.

Southeast anticipated a slightly smaller freshmen class in 2012 — the result of a smaller high school graduating class size in the state of Missouri and changes made to the University’s recruitment program for fall 2012. Due to limited availability of on-campus housing, the University modified admission guidelines for students outside a 50-mile radius, resulting in approximately 20 fewer first-year students living on campus as compared to last year.

Beginning freshmen headcount is 1,885, down 2 percent from this time last year.

“Given the decline in the high school class size and the enhanced admission criteria, we are thrilled with these results,” Below said. “Enrollment for the fall semester remains very strong.”

While beginning freshmen enrollments are down slightly this fall, undergraduate enrollment is 10,055, up 1.4 percent, and graduate enrollments have increased as well. Total graduate student enrollment is 1,077, up 12.2 percent from fall 2011.

Total international enrollment is 811, up from 705 at this time last year. International students at Southeast this fall represent 51 foreign countries.

Online enrollment continues to grow as well. This fall, 2,588 students are taking at least one Web course and 851 are taking only Web courses for a total of 3,439 student enrolled in online coursework.

The official census report will be issued in four weeks. University officials say the enrollment typically grows between the first-day census and the final fourth-week census date.