New Mexico’s largest university low in popularity
Roughly one quarter of University of New Mexico students are unimpressed with the state’s flagship public school, according to a survey that questioned college students about their higher education experiences.
UNM students who said in interviews Wednesday that they were unsatisfied expressed frustrations ranging from class availability to a sense of detachment from university decision-makers according to the Performance Effectiveness Report.
UNM’s satisfaction rate has remained at 77 or 78 percent over the past 10 years.
Student satisfaction rates are higher than 95 percent at New Mexico State, Eastern New Mexico and Highlands universities. Students at New Mexico Tech and Western New Mexico report satisfaction rates above 84 percent.
University of New Mexico enrolls the most students of any university in the state, and is one of New Mexico’s largest job-generators. The university enrolls roughly 21,000 undergraduate students, while New Mexico State has 14,572 matriculating undergraduates and Eastern New Mexico and New Mexico Tech enroll 5080 and 1454, respectively.
Higher education has been under a microscope as job prospects have dimmed and additional education has become more valued. New student increases are forcing campuses to find new revenue streams to keep up services, often resulting in admitting more students who pay either higher or a greater percent of their tuition. The trend is most visible at public universities that have set their sights on out-of-state candidates who pay considerably greater tuition than local students — at times three times as much.
Taking into account a student’s ability to weather the financial burden of higher education has increasingly become an ethical dilemma.
Student default rates, as determined by the two-year cohort rate calculated by the U.S. Department of Education, is at a 12-year high, with 8.8 percent of graduates not paying their college loans for 270 days or more. A report issued (pdf) by the New America Foundation found that 15 percent of graduates defaulted, while 21 percent were delinquent on their payments.
But despite the costs and risks of falling behind in payments, arguments college is still worth it price abound.
Individuals possessing a college-equivalent degree can expect to earn 80 percent more than a person with a high school degree. An earlier study from researchers at Georgetown University found a college degree holder can expect to make $1.4 million more than someone with a high school degree.