Southeast Expects Record Enrollment and Demand for Residence Hall Rooms; will Defer Admissions for Some Students Living 50-Plus Miles from Cape


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Southeast will defer admission until the spring 2009 semester for some students who live more than 50 miles from Cape Girardeau and would require residence hall accommodations.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., January 15, 2008 – Responding to preliminary application figures which indicate that Southeast Missouri State University will experience another record enrollment and unprecedented demand for residence hall rooms in fall 2008, the University will defer admission until the spring 2009 semester for some students who live more than 50 miles from Cape Girardeau and would require residence hall accommodations.

Because of the University’s commitment to providing higher education access to students in Southeast Missouri, there will be no change in the admission of Missouri students within the 50-mile radius of Cape Girardeau, at the regional campuses in Sikeston, Malden, and Kennett, and at the Perryville Higher Education Center, according to Dr. Debbie Below, director of admissions and enrollment management at Southeast.

Construction will begin this spring on a new 300-bed residence hall to accommodate the larger number of students wanting to live on the Cape Girardeau campus. However, Below said, the new hall will not be available until fall 2009. The University’s acquisition of Henderson House, currently an apartment house near the campus, will provide about 80 additional beds for fall 2008, giving Southeast residence halls a capacity of about 2,800 students.

Below explained that Southeast enrolled a record number of beginning freshmen in the fall 2007 class – more than 1,800 — and said projections indicate the 2008 freshman class will be as large or larger. Total Southeast headcount in fall 2007 stood at 10,665 – also an all-time record, representing a 29% increase over the past decade.

Below said she attributes the growing student population to the University’s combination of small class size, personal attention, a great college town, and real-life career education, as well as the opening this fall of Southeast’s new River Campus and its Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts.

The River Campus, with four state-of-the-art performance venues and other facilities, is Missouri’s only campus devoted entirely to art, music, theatre and dance. Admission of beginning students interested in those disciplines has soared this year, Below said.

These and other factors at Southeast are appealing to a growing number of students, she said. She indicated that the fall 2008 entering class includes more high school valedictorians and salutatorians than any in recent history, raising the academic profile of the freshman class.

She said it is dangerous to predict exact fall enrollment figures in January, but as of January 6, the number of first-time freshmen admitted for fall was up 11 percent from the same time last year, and the number of students who had made reservations for the Southeast “First Step” orientation sessions was up 9 percent. The number of fall housing contracts signed as of that date was up 78 percent over January 2007.

Below said the Admissions staff will be contacting high school counselors to explain the plans for deferring admission for students who do not meet the “moderately selective” criteria established by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education; i.e., an ACT score of 21 or an appropriate combination of ACT score and high school class rank.

Since residence hall space historically opens up after the fall semester, Below said, it is anticipated that there would be no problem finding housing for students whose admissions are deferred until spring 2009.

Southeast’s fall 2008 admission deadline continues to be May 1, 2008. Prospective students outside the 50-mile radius interested in attending next fall should apply by May 1 to be considered for admission.

Details of the University’s “moderately selective” admission guidelines are available on the web at, from the Office of Admissions at 573-651-2590, or by e-mail at