New Mexico State Hopes to Draw Students from Minority-Serving Institutions

LAS CRUCES, N.M.

New Mexico State University regents, seeking to boost enrollment, have approved three programs involving out-of-state tuition waivers — including a pilot project to analyze the elimination of nonresident tuition.

Another proposal approved by the board would allow students from historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges to attend NMSU while paying resident tuition.

School officials believe such an effort would boost diversity on campus. The proposal also would include waivers of out-of-state tuition for students who transfer from community colleges in Oklahoma and Texas.

Former Gov. Garrey Carruthers, dean of the College of Business Administration and Economics, recently presented the board with a proposal aimed at analyzing the impact of abolishing out-of-state tuition.

“We believe that we should abolish or modify the out-of-state tuition rates,” Carruthers said. “Many of us believe that by doing that we can enrich the student body.”

Carruthers will present his findings during the regents meeting in October.

Currently, full-time tuition for a nonresident student is $13,560 a year, compared with $4,206 for resident tuition.

Carruthers said waiving out-of-state tuition could make NMSU more attractive to students across the country and boost enrollment. If the university eliminated out-of-state tuition, he said it would need to recruit about 1,065 students to break even.

“It’s an opportunity to think about,” Carruthers said.

Regents also approved a proposal by associate provost Bill McCarthy to waive out-of-state tuition for up to 75 undergraduate and graduate international students. The effort would target top students abroad, McCarthy said.

Vice president and provost Dr. William V. Flores said it’s important to support exchange with students in countries like China and Costa Rica.

NMSU President Michael Martin agreed, noting that allowing such students to attend the university at an affordable price could also offset declining ACT scores and potentially help the university in national rankings.

A proposal to encourage undergraduates to obtain degrees in four years and enroll in NMSU graduate programs also was approved. Called the Early Aggie Fellowship, the plan asks undergraduates beginning this fall to sign a contract to finish their degrees in four years and go on to NMSU graduate school. Those who fulfill the contract would have one semester of graduate school paid.

—Associated Press



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