UNM Board to consider tuition freeze

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- The University of New Mexico is considering a new way to implement student tuition, by charging students at slightly higher rate and locking it down for four years.

It could save students money in the long run but, for students and parents paying the tuition bill, it would be a gamble.

For now, it’s just an idea.

According to UNM, tuition has gone up an average of six-percent each year over the past four years.

A proposal to increase the current tuition rate by 10 percent and lock it down for four years is now floating around campus. According to UNM Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Terry Babbitt, it would offer families security.

“With the climate of tuition increases, the lottery scholarship situation this year that’s had a declining balance for some time, we think it’s appropriate to consider different tuition models that give families a sense of planning and certainty about tuition rates,” explains Babbitt.

Based on the current tuition rate, the locked-in rate with the 10 percent increase, would bring tuition up to just over $7,000 until 2017.

If passed, the locked-in tuition would only be an option.

Some of the students we spoke with like the idea.

If I have a choice, I would choose the 10 percent because it’s more predictable and I know exactly how much I’m going to be spending and my parents will like that a lot – to know exactly how much my tuition is going to cost,” says UNM Freshman Jesse Perez-Baca.

Student Amidooli Pacheco has a similar take.

“It’s better to go with the 10 percent now than to live with the ups and downs,” says Pacheco.

Barbara Sullivan is a fourth year student at UNM. She says she’s seen her tuition go up every year.

“I think I would probably go with a 10 percent increase because it’s probably going to increase more than that if you didn’t,” explains Sullivan.

The Board of Regents is set to consider the proposal at their March 25th budget summit.

Babbitt says this is a pretty common model. He tells us some states have even required that universities offer this sort of option.

The proposal was presented as an informational item at the Board of Regents meeting Monday.

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