Princeton Review Rates Tech No. 12 As Nation’s Best Value

SOCORRO, N.M. January 21, 2010 – New Mexico Tech again was ranked among the nation’s top 50 best value public universities by the Princeton Review. The recently-released 2010 rankings group Tech with a strong list of public schools, most of which are large state institutions.

“The Princeton Review proves what we in Socorro have always known – that New Mexico Tech is among the best universities in the nation,” university President Dr. Daniel H. Lopez said. “We pride ourselves on our low tuition rates and on offering the best education.”

The USA Today newspaper provided extensive coverage of the Princeton Review's rankings. Lopez said that Tech always compares favorably with other science and engineering schools, but the Princeton Review compares all universities, further enhancing Tech’s credibility as a national leader in education.

“Even in this tough budget cycle, New Mexico Tech continues to be a high quality institution recognized as obtaining very sound education,” Lopez said. “Students at Tech get the best education money can buy.”

Lopez also said that continued cuts to the core budget could ultimately endanger the Tech’s ability to maintain high quality institution with a competitive best value in the country.

The Princeton Review, which is not associated with Princeton University, is an influential publication used by many high school students to compare their college choices. The annual publication ranks the top 367 universities in the nation. In the “best value” category, Tech ranks #12 in the nation for 2010.

The top 10 “value picks” among public institutions:

  1. University of Virginia (Charlottesville)
  2. City University of New York - Hunter College (New York, N.Y.)
  3. New College of Florida (Sarasota)
  4. Florida State University (Tallahassee)
  5. University of Colorado-Boulder
  6. State University of New York-Binghamton
  7. University of Georgia (Athens)
  8. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg)
  9. Texas A&M University (College Station)
  10. University of Oklahoma (Norman)

The publication offers a summary of New Mexico Tech and Socorro:

The New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology is a small and demanding school that specializes in science and engineering. The academic atmosphere is intense. Professors dispense homework at a hectic pace. Free tutoring is available in pretty much every subject, though, and the faculty is readily available for extra help. Cutting-edge research is everywhere here, and undergrads are able to participate very easily. A hands-on education is yours for the asking at Tech. You can work on revolutionary oil and gas production projects, develop software and hardware to fight cyber-terrorism, or participate in astronomical research using one of the best optical telescopes on earth.

Like at any other engineering school, life at New Mexico Tech is hard and full of work. You have to be immersed in your studies to succeed here. The exceedingly dedicated and tremendously intelligent students are science geeks and math nerds who are proud of those designations. There’s not much of a party scene, primarily because there’s not much time to party. When students find time for the occasional study break, many play video games. Clubs and activities are plentiful as well. For the more athletically inclined, there are ample opportunities for rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking in the area. The surrounding town of Socorro reportedly offers little in the way of entertainment, but Albuquerque is only an hour or so away.

Regarding the cost of attending Tech, the publication has this to say:

Like most public schools, New Mexico Tech is affordable for state residents. Unlike those schools, Tech is also a great bargain even if you don’t happen to hail from the Land of Enchantment. Tuition is dirt-cheap here for residents and nonresidents. This place is one of the best deals in the nation when you take into account the quality and hands-on nature of the education and when you compare it to schools of similar academic caliber. The typical grants, loans, and work-study opportunities are available here like anywhere else. In addition, more than 40 percent of Tech’s undergrads receive merit-based financial aid. All you need are good grades and a good standardized test score. Scholarships fluctuate in value from $800 or so a year to full tuition. Still further, it’s worth noting that Tech’s middle-of-nowhere location means that the cost of living is exceedingly low.

In the category of “Bottom Line,” the Princeton Review says Tech is among the most affordable in the nation:

The total cost for a year of tuition, fees, room and board, and everything else comes in at a little less than $8,000 for New Mexico residents. If you can’t claim state residency, you will owe a little more than $12,000. If you can hack the academic pace here, and if you want to be a part of groundbreaking research, that’s a deal that is hard to beat.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech