SEMO still growing

Monday, September 8, 2008

Southeast Missouri State University set another first-day, first-time freshmen enrollment record this year, up about 1 percent to 1,826 students.

School officials had expected their numbers to flatten after a remarkable 19 percent increase last year after the opening of the River Campus. Other state universities Missouri grew as well. The University of Missouri surged 6 percent; Missouri State increased 1.5 percent.

This is a significant difference from what's happening across the river at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where school officials are blaming the economy for a 1.5 percent drop, or 310 students, in enrollment. Enrollment figures are subject to change in the next several weeks as some students will decide college is not for them.

Meanwhile, Southeast says it will be setting more moderate enrollment goals after aggressive gains in the last 10 years, as the school is catching up with demand for more housing needs and more professors.

The university appears to be in a good position overall. Growth comes with some pains, but it's encouraging to see the local university continue to take positive steps forward.

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