Southeast Opens Fall 2017 Semester with Record High Retention Rate

University Residence Halls at 100 Percent Capacity

Southeast Missouri State University opened the fall 2017 semester with its highest retention rate ever and with its residence halls at 100 percent occupancy.

The University reports 75.4 percent of its new students from last fall returning for the fall 2017 semester, a sign the University is making progress towards retention goals University President Carlos Vargas set for the institution a year ago.

In addition, Southeast Residence Life has placed eight students on a wait list for on-campus housing and reopened Cheney Hall to temporarily accommodate students wishing to live on campus this fall.

When reflecting on today’s enrollment report, Southeast President Carlos Vargas, said,  “Southeast’s appeal continues to be its strengths as an institution on the move, creating change, offering groundbreaking and innovative academics and accelerating professional opportunities for students to launch extraordinary careers.”

Southeast officials say transfer student enrollment is up to 581 from this time last year, an indication the University’s new Transfer Mentor Program is making an impact. In February, Southeast launched a Transfer Mentor Program through partnerships with Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri, and Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, to help community college students plan a pathway to success, enhancing their transition to Southeast early on to complete their degree.

In addition, total online enrollment stands at 1,284, up 6.4 percent from this time last year.

The Ice Cream Pigout is an annual Opening Week tradition at Southeast.

Today’s first-day fall enrollment report shows international enrollment following national trends with a 26 percent decline from this time last fall. While beginning freshmen enrollment is off just 2.7 percent (1,824) from this time a year ago, University officials say the decline in international students is largely responsible for a 4.6 percent decline in overall total enrollment which stands at 11,006.

Southeast’s first day enrollment report was issued after the first full day of fall semester classes which began on Monday, Aug. 21. Southeast’s final census report will be issued in four weeks.

Mark Your Calendar for Oct. 7 Show Me Day

Building on its highest rate of returning students in school history, Southeast encourages incoming students to begin planning now to attend a Show Me Day on campus this fall. Show Me Day is an opportunity to visit Southeast and learn about the variety of academic programs and services offered. The first fall 2017 Show Me Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7, with additional dates planned throughout the fall and into 2018.

Southeast is now accepting applications for the fall 2018 semester and students are encouraged to apply in November to meet the Dec. 1 deadline for early scholarship consideration and on-campus housing.  Apply online at

For more information on becoming a Redhawk at Southeast Missouri State University, contact the Office of Admissions at (573) 651-2590 or