UNM regents vote no to tuition increase, yes to faculty pay raise

Created: 03/28/2014 6:37 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

For a change, UNM students won’t be paying higher tuition when school starts next fall.

The UNM Board of Regents voted for no increase Friday afternoon, while also approving pay raises of three percent for faculty and two percent for staff.

The vote bucks a trend – tuition goes up most years. The decision spares undergraduates an increase of about $350 a semester that school administrators were hoping for. What will hurt some students though is that the lottery scholarships will no longer pay 100 percent of tuition. It will be more in the neighborhood of 90 percent, which means thousands of students on those scholarships will be responsible for about $250 a semester in tuition costs.

“The lottery scholarship has gotten more narrow,” said UNM President Robert Frank. “It’s not as generous as it used to be for students, but still all-in-all New Mexico has one of the best deals for students in the country. Tuition is lower and with that lottery scholarship this is one of the best places to go to college in the United States.”

“They’re saying that as a state school we have the lowest tuition in the country,” said student Hernan Gomez-Chavez. “They’re not considering other things, like New Mexico is one of the poorest states.”

Frank said the big challenge now is to figure out how to cover those faculty and staff pay raises without a tuition increase. He says his team can do it with careful adjustments of the budget. UNM officials said most of the the state’s other universities are looking at tuition hikes in the neighborhood of six percent.

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