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UNM-LA approves 4.9 percent tuition hike

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By Tris DeRoma

 

Students will pay higher tuition costs to attend the University of New Mexico’s Los Alamos campus this fall.

That’s because UNM’s Board of Regents voted to increase the tuition 4.9 percent, the only campus in the system to receive an across-the-board tuition increase, which is for resident and non-resident students. 

The board also approved a new $10 “print management fee,” which will allow students to use their ID cards to access printers throughout the campus. The cards will have a preloaded amount of credits on them. 

The increase drives the cost per credit hour for resident students from $66 to $69.25, meaning a full-time student (12 to 18 credit hours) will pay $831 instead of $792 per semester.

The per credit hour increase for non-resident students is from $189.50 to $199, meaning a semester will go from $2,274 to $2,388.

Those figures do not include fees, which vary for each student.

Campus Executive Director Dr. Cedric Page said the increase will help shore up the school’s financial picture, which took a hit when Los Alamos residents voted against a property tax increase that would have guaranteed the school about $1 million a year, money school officials said they needed to expand as well as retain key degree and certification programs. 

“One thing we will be able to do is retain our faculty, which will help us maintain our quality of instruction,” Page said at a recent advisory board meeting. “Our faculty is happy that someone is concerned about them enough to grant them a modest annual, increase.” 

Page said the increase will help them to focus their own financial resources to maintain the programs and degrees the school offers, which would include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs such as the school’s early college program for high school students.

Among the students, reaction around the campus was mixed. 

“I would have rather have had them focus on to keeping the tuition as low as possible,” said Josh Roybal, an environmental science major. “I would like to continue get an education without having to work as much or thinking about money, as compared to education. After all, that’s the whole point of being in school.”

Bridgette Vigil, a computer science major, had another perspective. She said she will be transferring to the University of New Mexico’s main campus next year, and she’s aware of the cost difference.

“I still think it’s affordable,” she said. “It’s always been the cheapest … compared to Northern Mexico College in Española it’s still very affordable. When I move to UNM’s main campus, I know I will be paying much more.”