News release
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Contact: Rene Abadie
Date: 2/10/05
 
SOUTHEASTERN SPRING 2005 ENROLLMENT REFLECTS IMPROVING QUALITY OF NEW STUDENTS
      HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s spring 2005 enrollment profile reflects the university’s trend of attracting and retaining better prepared students, Southeastern officials said Thursday.
      The average American College Test (ACT) composite score for first time, full time freshmen in spring 2005 is 20.4, an almost two point increase over the same time last year (18.7).
      “Since we instituted admission standards in fall 2000 and further increased them last year, we have seen a steady improvement in the scores of incoming freshmen and a significant decrease in students requiring developmental math and English,” said Southeastern President Randy Moffett. 
      Southeastern implemented admission standards a full year ahead of state mandates. Moffett said the university anticipated some reductions in enrollment based on students not meeting Southeastern’s standards and the state’s growing community college system.
      This spring’s enrollment profile shows 14,463 students enrolled compared to last spring’s 14,761 total headcount, a two percent drop.
      “While total enrollment has dropped slightly, we are seeing significant increases in our freshmen to sophomore retention rate and our upper class enrollments, key figures in our efforts to improve our graduation rate,” Moffett said. “The fact that we are also seeing improvement in student retention at all undergraduate levels is especially encouraging and signifies that our efforts to recruit students who are better prepared for college are working.”
      The profile shows that overall retention of the freshman students from the fall to spring semesters is up from 86.8 percent this time last year to 88.3 percent this year. Retention of students participating in the state’s TOPS scholarship program is up from 92.2 percent last year to 97.6 percent this spring, while the retention rate among students living on campus is up from 88.9 percent to 97.4 percent. 
      The total number of students enrolled in developmental English and math courses at Southeastern continues to trend downward by more than 28 percent this year.
      Moffett said the university is poised to implement another round of admission standards next fall, in which students must complete the TOPS core curriculum in high school and need no more than one developmental course.
      “Because we have gradually implemented and increased our admission standards over several years, we feel like the students and parents in our service area are well aware of these standards,” Moffett said. “Our message to high school students and their parents is that preparation for college is the key to admission and overall success.” Moffett said. 
      In addition, Moffett said a new program, “Southeastern Scholars,” allows high school students with high ACT scores (24 or above) to receive a scholarship for up to six hours of enrollment at Southeastern, giving them the opportunity to get an early start on their college education. More than twice as many students are enrolled in the program this semester compared to last fall. Students who participate in this program are taking college level classes at the main campus in Hammond, at Southeastern’s St. Tammany Center in Mandeville and at Fountainbleu High School.
      “It’s an excellent opportunity for high achieving students to get a jumpstart on their college careers and save significant dollars in tuition,” Moffett added.
      Broken down by classification, spring 2005 enrollment includes 3,704 freshmen, 3,069 sophomores, 2,401 juniors, 3,477 seniors, and 1,812 graduate students.  The university’s top feeder parishes include Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Jefferson and Ascension.