|SOUTHEASTERN ACT SCORES TOP STATE, NATIONAL AVERAGES
HAMMOND – The average American College
Test composite score for beginning freshman at Southeastern Louisiana University
has reached an all-time high of 21.0, besting both state and national norms,
according to official university figures released after the first 14 class
days of the fall 2004 semester.
The freshman class’ ACT composite score
reflects a more than five percent increase over last fall’s average of
19.9, said John Crain, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Also, he said, 424 entering freshmen had ACT composite scores of 24 or
higher, an almost 19 percent increase over fall 2003.
As ACT scores are based on a relatively
small 36-point scale, an increase of more than one point “is a significant
improvement,” Crain said. “The ACT composite score of our entering freshman
class is not only above the state average of 19.8, but it is also higher
than the national average of 20.9.”
Southeastern President Randy Moffett
said that the university’s higher admission standards, as well as academic
enhancements such as new honors programs in every major and greater opportunities
to work with faculty on undergraduate research and creative projects, are
helping Southeastern attract a larger share of the state’s top high school
Stephen Soutullo, dean of enrollment
management, said the fall enrollment figures also show that Southeastern
is exceeding its goals in the area of retention. Soutullo said Southeastern
had a freshman retention rate of 66.7 percent in fall 2003 and had set
a freshman retention goal of 67.9 percent for fall 2004.
With almost 69 percent of last
fall’s entering freshmen continuing their studies this semester, the university
exceeded both last fall’s percentage and this fall’s goal, he said.
Among the entering freshman with
an ACT of 24 or higher, the retention rate is 77.6 percent, more than 11
percent higher than fall 2003, Soutullo added.
With a 33 ACT composite score,
Brooke Lockhart of Christchurch, New Zealand, is at the top of the fall
2004 entering freshman class. Lockhart said she was swayed by the
scholarship and preferential housing options Southeastern offers to students
with high ACT scores. Southeastern guarantees a scholarship to all students
with an ACT composite score of 24 or better and a 3.0 high school grade
“The fact that Southeastern was
nationally accredited in business was also a big influence,” said Lockhart,
who also will play softball at Southeastern. “Since I want to major in
management, it was important to me that Southeastern has long been known
for having a strong business program.”
The university’s fall 2004 enrollment
profile shows no significant change in the total enrollment compared to
last fall’s headcount. A total of 15,472 students are attending classes,
whereas fall 2003's enrollment was 15,662 students.
The university’s fall 2004 enrollment
of 15,472 students approximates that of last fall. Broken down by
classification, fall 2004 enrollment includes 5,002 freshmen, 2,880 sophomores,
2,348 juniors, 3,434 seniors, and 1,808 graduate students. Tangipahoa continues
to be Southeastern’s top feeder parish, with a total of 3,435 students.
The other top parishes sending students to Southeastern include St. Tammany,
3,263; East Baton Rouge, 2,143; Livingston, 1,895; Jefferson, 834; and
Southeastern has been a leader among
its state peers in implementing admission standards, twice jumping ahead
of schedule in instituting components of the new admission standards that
will be mandated statewide by the Louisiana Board of Regents in 2005.
To be admitted to Southeastern next fall, students must complete the TOPS
core of high school courses and have an ACT composite score of at least
20 or a high school graduate rank in the top 50 percent or a high school
grade point average of at least 2.0. They also can have no more than one