With an enrollment of 4,824 students this fall, Southeastern Oklahoma State University has reached unprecedented heights.
Records indicate this is the highest enrollment since the school opened its doors in 1909. It also represents a 7.6% increase over last fall’s enrollment.
“We are continuing to see impressive growth in our online graduate programs,’’ Southeastern President Sean Burrage said in a press release announcing the enrollment number. “Online delivery is an attractive and convenient option for many students, and the demand for this service has spread across the country over the past few years. At the same time, we realize the importance of maintaining the quality academic programs offered in the traditional classroom setting. With that being said, we believe that quality, accessibility, affordability and most importantly, our people – both faculty and staff members — are the attributes that set Southeastern apart and continue to drive our enrollment growth.’’
The university recently announced that for the second year in a row, students will not see an increase in tuition rates. In addition, thanks to a new pilot program initiated by the state, high school juniors in Oklahoma can receive tuition-free enrollment in concurrent courses at Southeastern. High school seniors were already eligible to earn up to 18 hours of credit tuition-free.
And Southeastern has also increased its scholarship funds available to students this year.
“We’re doing everything we can think of to ensure that a college education is affordable,’’ Burrage said. “Ninety-percent of Southeastern students receive some type of financial aid, and each year, about 50 percent of our graduates are first-generation college graduates. As a University, we have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of our students. Playing a role in this life-changing experience is something we take a great deal of pride in.’’
The University of Oklahoma announced the hiring of Burrage as its vice president for executive affairs last month. The Regional University System of Oklahoma then appointed Bryon Clark interim president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University following the resignation of Burrage. Clark, who is currently serving as vice president for academic affairs at Southeastern, will assume his interim duties on Oct. 12.
This fall’s record enrollment continues a recent upward trend: in Fall 2018, enrollment reached a 40-year high, while the Spring 2019 numbers were the highest for a spring semester since 1983.