“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 in-state 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 out-of-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.”