“N.M. College Enrollment Decline Leads Nation.”
Thus, did one local headline chronicle the news last week of the precipitous drop in the number of students entering New Mexico’s universities this academic year compared to just last year.
The numbers are stark: Almost 11,000 fewer students enrolled at New Mexico’s institutions of higher education for the fall semester of 2014 than in the fall of 2013.
Think upon it. We’re talking here about a decline of 8.3 percent in only 12 months. The rate of decline in college enrollment, nationally, was 1.9 percent, so to report that New Mexico‘s decline “leads” the nation is to understate the case dramatically.
It also dramatically underscores the tenacity with which the Great Recession of 2008 continues to hold New Mexico in its grips. Nor does it help that New Mexicans have chosen a cadre of state and local political leaders demonstrably ill-suited to turn things around.
Of course, New Mexico “leads” the nation in declining college enrollments. Under the circumstances how could it be otherwise?
It is also one of the few states that “leads” the nation in a documented loss of population. More people have actually moved away from New Mexico than to New Mexico since the Great Recession of 2008.