More than a place to live, residence halls are a major part of your college experience.
Research shows that students who live on campus have higher GPAs, get more involved in campus life, and save time by not commuting, compared to students who live off campus. While the University provides housing for as many students as possible, a majority of upper division, graduate and non-traditional students make arrangements for their own housing in the surrounding Cape Girardeau community.
Living On Campus
If you are under 21, you must live on campus in the residence halls.
Southeast has 12 on-campus living options including two styles, community and suite. Amenities include computer access, cable TV, common and private bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, laundry, banking, mail, maintenance, and shuttle services. All halls offer academic and social activities. Each residence hall has resident assistants (RAs) and a hall director to ensure a safe and friendly living/learning environment.
All on-campus housing contracts include meal service, which includes a certain number of meals each week plus flex dollars that can be spent on extra items. Costs vary based on preference. Housing is assigned based on availability, contract date, and seniority in the residence system.
Complete your housing contract and pay your deposit online early through the Southeast portal to have a better choice of a roommate, room and building. Once you are in the Southeast portal, you can find the “Residence Life Housing Portal” under the “Students SS” tab.
You may apply for residency release (exemption) if you meet one of the criteria listed here. Students who live off campus without permission are charged full on-campus housing costs.
Living at SEMO
What will you do while living on campus? Eat fresh food at every meal, save time walking to class, and find your flock in the heart of the action! But that’s not all. You’ll form better relationships with faculty, get more involved in campus life, earn better grades, and increase your likelihood to graduate on time. Whatever you do here, you won’t do it alone.
Living Off Campus
Students who choose to live off campus must verify with the Office of Residence Life that they are eligible for a 'Housing Release' from the Residency Requirement.
If you are not required to live on campus, you can rent an apartment or house nearby. There are many places located within walking distance of campus, but there are important things for you to know about living off campus:
Like living on campus, when you live off campus, you need to sign a contract and submit a deposit, but beware of scams! Do not give your banking information or credit card number to anyone posting rental options online or on social media -- we highly recommend waiting until you arrive to look for a place to rent because:
- you can see what the apartment really looks like (photos can be deceiving!)
- you can get a feel for the neighborhood and know how far it is from the University
- you can meet the landlord and ask questions about the contract
- you can pay the deposit in a secure way once you sign the contract in person
- Staff and International Student Orientation Ambassadors will be available to help you secure off-campus housing during the recommended arrival dates listed on your acceptance letter
Refer to Cape Girardeau's Chamber of Commerce Rental Guide for a list of valid rental properties. We also recommend that you "Like" the "Living at Southeast" Facebook page. Current and new students often inquire about off campus housing and look for new roommates on this page.
Most leases are 12 months long. Keep that in mind when planning your breaks. A 6-month lease might incur a short term increase fee, so check with your landlord.
The standard procedure is for the tenant to pay a security deposit, usually equal to the amount of rent, plus the first month’s rent. For instance, if your monthly rent is $500, you will be expected to pay the $500 security deposit + $500 your first month’s rent before you move in. If your landlord asks you to pay for more than one month on top of the security deposit, that is probably a red flag. Your security deposit is refundable once you move out, granted you do not damage the property and honor the contract.
If you are a smoker or plan to have a pet, check with your landlord about what their policies are before you sign the contract. Failure to comply might result in termination of your lease, fine and/or forfeit your security deposit.
Most places are unfurnished, and you may need to buy furniture and appliances as well as secure utilities, including gas, electricity, internet, etc. Keep these extra expenses in mind when you are searching for places to rent and calculating your monthly budget.
Most properties offer you common household appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators/freezers, dishwashers, etc. Although some properties do have washer and dryer, that is uncommon. Therefore, you might need to use a laundromat for your laundry needs. Check your contract to see what appliances you can expect to have and which ones you might have to buy.
You might have to set up utilities on your own. Water, electricity, and internet/Wi-Fi are typically not included in the rent. You can get started by either calling, visiting their website and/or making an in-person visit to their office:
Cape Girardeau, also called ‘Cape’ by the locals, is the home of Southeast Missouri State University and has multiple housing options for students.
Take a virtual tour! Explore Southeast Missouri State University with our interactive campus map.