Northern Increases Tuition 4.5% In Response To Governor’s Cuts

by Staff Reporter / Apr 26, 2017 / comments

Northern Increases Tuition 4.5% In Response To Governor’s Cuts

Española – The Northern New Mexico College Board of Regents on Monday, April 24 voted to raise tuition and fees by 4.5 percent in response to anticipated state funding cuts and a recent line item veto of higher education funding by Governor Susana Martinez.

The Board passed a motion to raise tuition and fees in a 3-1 vote, after hours of deliberation on possible alternatives in the face of state funding cuts.

The Board made the decision to avoid programmatic and staff cuts, while keeping the college financially stable.

Around 40 percent of Northern’s student body will not be affected by the increase due to the college’s Tuition Promise Program. The program locks tuition and fees for eligible full time students at the rate at which they enrolled in the college.

The Board, College President and Vice President of Finance and Administration all stressed that a promise is a promise, which is why the college plans to honor its tuition pledge to students.

“The tuition increase is solely based on the state budget challenges. No other issue was driving that decision,” College President Dr. Rick Bailey, said after the vote.

“We acknowledge that the college has its work cut out for it in terms of our fiscal processes and ongoing investigation. But make no mistake. The sole reason for the Board’s decision to raise tuition is the massive cut the college and higher education has endured from the state.”

During the public meeting, the Board also called on the college to accelerate its efforts to generate new funding streams to insure budgetary burdens do not fall on the backs of students.

Immediately after the meeting, President Bailey initiated a campus-wide conversation and call for innovative ideas on how the college can raise and save money to supplement its existing efforts and engage all college stakeholders.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed the state's entire higher education budget earlier this month. A special session will now be held for lawmakers to determine funding for colleges and universities. Governor Martinez visited Espanola on April 17 as part of s statewide tour explaining her vetoes of the entire Higher Education Department budget (see story HERE).

Northern New Mexico College is a minority-serving institution, offering bachelor's, associate, and certificate programs.

The college primarily serves rural communities within a 40-mile radius of its campus in Española, New Mexico, within one of the most underserved regions in the state.