UNM sees biggest freshman class since 2017

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As higher education returns to in-person learning, students were welcomed back to UNM with a new requirement – they must be fully vaccinated.

Students were eager to return and campus is busy, but it is obvious that things have changed.

"Some classes are big and some classes are small," freshman Erica Lopez said. "Kind of just the class."

Not only must students be fully vaccinated – or undergo weekly testing – but many students are also wearing masks.

"I was kind of nervous actually because people were against the vaccination and saying all this kind of stuff but I had family members that kind of passed away from all this going on," sophomore Mailk Begye said. "I was kind of iffy about coming back to school but now I feel safer."

According to UNM Vice President of Enrollment Dan Garcia, the university has seen a 10% increase in the freshman class. This year is also the first time they have surpassed 3,000 incoming freshmen since 2017.

"We feel great about this year," Garcia said. "With the increases of students coming in, it’s just invigorating the entire campus."

Even as precautions are being taken, remote learning is still enticing to students. Online enrollment increased by 3% this year.
While there have been increases in diversity, graduate students and transfer students, UNM has also seen a 5% decrease in returning students.

"The good news for the institution is, the larger our incoming classes are, the larger our total enrollment will grow over time," Garcia stated.