Regional
3:45 pm
Thu April 1, 2010

State Cuts Force Tuition Hike At NMSU

New Mexico – The New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved an 8-percent increase in tuition and fees for resident undergraduate students at the main campus in Las Cruces for 2010-2011.

The Regents indicated that decisions on such increases are made only after discussions and input from the student government.

"The president consulted with our student leadership and discussed the impact of increases in student fees and tuition," said Regents Chair Isaac Pino. "The aim of these discussions was to develop a budget solution that will allow the university to maintain quality and advance the institution in a difficult budgetary year."

The increase was needed to help offset the impact of a reduction in state appropriations to the university, including a 5-percent "tuition credit" that in essence requires the university to raise tuition to stay even. The state imposed further funding reductions beyond the tuition credit. The NMSU Instruction and General Budget for the Las Cruces campus total reduction was 9.8 percent or $12.3 million. This was the largest percentage decrease among four-year institutions in New Mexico.

The 8-percent increase for full-time, resident undergraduate students means an additional $201 per semester. For full-time, non-resident undergraduate students the increase will be 10.1 percent or $765 per semester. Full-time, resident graduate students will see an 8.3 percent increase or $222 or semester. Full-time, non-resident graduate students will increase 10 percent or $777 per semester.

"This has been a challenging financial situation requiring bold action to fulfill our fundamental promise of excellence to our students," President Barbara Couture said. "With this tuition and fees recommendation, a significant budget reduction is still required and it will be achieved through central and departmental budget cuts and allocations. Costs borne by students remain in the mid-range of our group of peer institutions and students receiving the Lottery Scholarship will not experience the impact of a tuition increase."

NMSU community colleges will see some tuition increases as well. NMSU Alamogordo will increase 9.5 percent, Dona Ana Community College 7.5 percent and NMSU Grants 6.9 percent. Carlsbad students designated as in-district residents will not see an increase.

The board also approved a 3-percent increase in meal plans and a 3-percent increase in housing rates. Funds generated through these increases will be used to offset increased operating costs and reinvestment in facilities. Both housing and meal plans at NMSU remain competitive with regional universities and the local market.

Parking fees for the 2010-2011 academic year were increased by 17 cents per month for students and 29 cents per month for the majority of employees. Funds generated through the increase will be used to support parking lot maintenance.