ENMU regents ponder fee rise

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University students may see an increase in their tuition and fees next school year — an average of $180 to $200 per student.

ENMU administrators during Friday’s Board of Regents’ meeting in Ruidoso presented a proposal to increase tuition and fees by 6.45 percent.

“We will have either the lowest or second to lowest increase in the state for all four-year institutions,” said ENMU President Steven Gamble.

At least one student said the potential hike is not a great concern.

“To me it’s not that bad,” said Dean Kimbrell, an ENMU freshman. “I am able to get (a grant) and the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship to pay for tuition and fees. I haven’t had to get a loan.”

The change will push the cost of tuition and fees from $2,784 per academic year for a full-time resident student to $2,964. Gamble said ENMU regents will vote on the proposal in the April 19 regents’ meeting.

Resident and non-resident graduate tuition and fees will increase $200 per academic year, according to the proposal.

There is also a proposal to increase the housing rates for students.

The room rate increases differ depending on the residence hall. Students will see an increase from $15 per semester for a one-bedroom at West Campus to as much as $44 for a private room at either Bernalillo or Lincoln hall, if approved by the board.

“The reason for the increase in room rates is because of the increase in utilities,” Gamble said. “We are going to see a $350,000 increase in utility costs from last year’s costs.”

Virginia Wiggins, an ENMU junior, said she will be transferring to the University of Georgia, but it’s not because of the proposed rate increases. The out-of-state tuition rate for the University of Georgia is $19,778 for a full-time student for an academic year. Wiggins said she likes ENMU and that she received a scholarship to pay for her tuition at UGA.

“I feel sorry for my little brother,” Wiggins said of her 14-year-old brother. “All of the costs continue to increase and he wants to go to a big school.”

Also during Friday’s meeting:

• Gamble said ENMU representatives presented Marshall Stinnett with a plaque in recognition of his two years, 2004 and 2005, as president of the ENMU Board of Regents. Each year, the board members vote on a president. In January, board members voted to have Jay Gurley serve as the president.