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NMSU’s fees, tuition to rise 3%

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LAS CRUCES — Tuition and fees at New Mexico State University will rise 3 percent in the 2013-2014 academic year under a plan approved Wednesday by the board of regents.

The increase works out to $90 more per semester for a full-time resident undergraduate student at NMSU’s main campus in Las Cruces.

For nonresident undergraduate students, the 3-percent hike translates to an extra cost of $288 per semester. Full-time resident graduate students will see tuition and fees rise $97.20 per semester, and nonresident graduate students will see an increase of $295.20 per semester.

On the bright side for NMSU students, the cost of housing and on-campus parking permits will not rise, though meal plan rates will swell by 3.28 percent to 3.43 percent depending on the student meal plan.

Before the five-member board voted to approve the tuition and fee increase, interim President Manuel Pacheco noted that since 2009, NMSU has had to cope with a leaner budget, due to belt-tightening at the state level, which has “limited our ability to … compensate employees the way we would like.

“There have been some significant cutbacks as well,” Pacheco said. “I think the university has done a great job during this time, even advancing in some areas, but there has been an impact.”

Pacheco said that among his primary goals since taking the university helm in October, following the resignation of former president Barbara Couture, have been keeping any tuition increase low and improving employee salaries.

Under budget guidelines approved Wednesday, eligible faculty and staff will be in line for a 1-percent salary increase, while $1.6 million will be dedicated to a faculty salary “enhancement plan” to be administered by the university provost.

The tuition and fee increase passed on a 4 to 1 vote, with student regent Jordan Banegas voting against, saying that he would have preferred tapping “alternative funding sources” to a tuition hike.

Breeana Sylvas, the outgoing president of the Associated Students of NMSU and an ex-officio member of the board, also opposed the tuition increase, though it was within parameters agreed upon by administrators and student government.

Tuition and fees are also set to rise 1.3 percent at the NMSU Alamogordo campus, 1.6 percent at Doña Ana Community College and 2.3 percent at the NMSU Carlsbad campus.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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