Keep­ing up

Albuquerque Journal - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAU­REN VILLAGRAN JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

NMSU plans to of­fer Mex­i­can stu­dents half­price tuition

LAS CRUCES — New Mex­ico State Uni­ver­sity is rolling out a pro­gram today to of­fer Mex­i­can stu­dents tuition at less than half the usual out-of-state rate.

“We have an en­roll­ment chal­lenge here, that is pub­lic knowl­edge, and de­creas­ing de­mo­graph­ics,” said Dr. Cornell Menk­ing, as­so­ciate provost for in­ter­na­tional and border pro­grams at NMSU. “We look at our com­pe­ti­tiors and see the ad­van­tages of close col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mex­ico and re­cruit­ing in Mex­ico. To put it bluntly, we felt we were not keep­ing up with our com­peti­tors in the re­gion like Ari­zona and UTEP.”

The Uni­ver­sity of Texas at El Paso — whose cam­pus over­looks the Mex­i­can border and Ci­u­dad Juárez — has for years of­fered in­state tuition to stu­dents who grad­u­ate high school in Chi­huahua state.

Faced with a bud­get cri­sis — marked by en­roll­ment de­clines and de­creased rev­enue — NMSU Pres­i­dent Gar­rey Car­ruthers has said he sees a fer­tile mar­ket, par­tic­u­larly for grad­u­ate stu­dents, in Mex­ico and China. He has said he would like to boost grad stu­dents to 20 per­cent of to­tal en­roll­ment from 14 per­cent cur­rently.

Under the new NMSU pro­gram, full-time un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents from Mex­ico will pay $4,691 for a 15-credit se­mes­ter, com­pared with out-of-state tuition of $10,617, Menk­ing said. Grad­u­ate stu­dents from Mex­ico with a full 12-credit courseload will pay $3,975 vs. $10,071 outof-state tuition, he said.

The rate is about 1.5 times what New Mex­ico res­i­dents pay.

“We be­lieve we are in the sweet spot be­cause we are so close to Mex­ico,” Car­ruthers said. “So many of our peo­ple are bilin­gual that this is go­ing to be a great mar­ket for grad­u­ate stu­dents go­ing for­ward.”

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