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Tuition Increase Is $125 Per Semester In-State

SOCORRO, N.M. April 30, 2013 – Financial took center stage at the April meeting of the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents – the annual budget, a tuition increase, faculty salaries, and the Lottery Scholarship.

The board approved a tuition increase at its regular meeting Sunday, April 21, in Socorro. The tuition increase amounts to $125 per semester for in-state students and $358 per semester for out-of-state students. Fees are not going up, so the increase in “tuition and fees” amounts to a 3.96 percent increase for undergraduates and 3.71 for graduate students.

This year’s tuition increase has generated more discussion than usual. University President Dr. Daniel H. Lopez fielded questions about tuition for more than an hour at the annual spring student forum on April 11. After the Regents discussed the increase at length, they voted unanimously to accept the administration’s recommendation.

Tuition – which accounts for less than 10 percent of the university’s revenue – is linked to two other hot-button items: faculty salaries and the Lottery Scholarship. Tech administrators hope to link the budgeted increase in tuition revenue to an increased budget for faculty salaries. The regular budget includes 2 percent increase for all employees. Increased revenues from tuition any allow the university to add a $1,000 one-time bonus to tenure-track faculty members towards the end of the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Peter Gerity said the staffing level has improved over the past two years. Before the economic downturn in 2008, Tech had about 120 professors. That number bottomed out at 91 in 2010. Tech is now back up to 114 professors – yet enrollment has climbed consistently over that time period.

Lopez pointed out that New Mexico Tech is doing more with less. Since state funding peaked in 2007, enrollment has increased by 200 students and state funding has decreased by $5.4 million. State appropriations provide $38.88 million to Tech in the 2013-2014 budget.

“We have a whole range of financial options that help students,” Lopez said. “We try to make sure that no student has to leave school because of funding.”

He mentioned the President’s Assistance Fund, which helped 14 students – mostly super-seniors who had run out of other scholarships. Tech has numerous research jobs on campus to help students defray their college costs, he said.

A separate article will chronicle other items from the April meeting.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech