Background Report: Strengthening Higher Education and Tomorrow’s Workforce Town Hall

CH 3: Higher Education System

Leadership, Governance and Finance

New Mexico’s higher education system is at a crossroads. Our state has a vast higher education system meant to match the state’s large geographic footprint and meet community needs for access to higher education. We believe in the importance of higher education and have stood by that belief by investing heavily in the system, and in our students. And yet, New Mexico remains one of the poorest states, with post-secondary graduation rates lower than the national average, and promising students leaving the state for better educational and economic opportunities. The system remains reliant on diminishing federal and state funds. Some higher education institutions need additional oversight and guidance to improve fiscal and administrative management as well student outcomes. This chapter provides key information about our higher education system and options for strengthening it through innovative leadership, accountable governance and diversified financing.

Key considerations

Many of us have an allegiance to our state colleges and universities as a student or educator, a sports fan or hometown community member. However, few of us know how these institutional pillars of our communities are structured, governed or financed, and how the schools respond to the needs of students, the community or the state. What can be done to simultaneously improve both institution efficiency despite diminishing revenues and student success and outcomes?

Higher Education System

New Mexico is home to 29 public higher education institutions (HEIs) located throughout the state serving approximately 133,830 students. These schools are economic drivers and hubs of civic and community pride. New Mexico’s institutions fall into six categories, four of which are state-funded institutions:[1]

Figure 11: Map of Public Colleges and Universities in New Mexico
  • Research universities
  • Comprehensive universities (serving more regional needs)
  • Branch community colleges associated with four-year institutions that award two-year degrees and certificates
  • Independent community colleges that award two-year degrees and certificates
  • Federally funded tribal institutions
  • Private, nonprofit institutions (e.g. St. John’s College, University of the Southwest)
  • Private, for-profit institutions (e.g. University of Phoenix)

In addition, many institutions provide instruction and degree programs at satellite locations. Collectively, this combination of institutions means that New Mexico residents have 77 physical points of access from which they can tap higher education. This level is reflective of New Mexico being the fifth-largest state in the nation with large distances to travel between communities. Some institutions also offer online certificate and degree programs, some of which are offered outside an institution’s taxing district and across the United States.[2]

Like most states, New Mexico experienced the largest increase in HEIs post-World War II. Between 1956 and 1968, New Mexico established 11 community colleges and 14 branch community colleges.[3] In 1998, the Legislature became concerned with continued higher education expansion and placed a limit on community college, branch campus and off-campus instructional center growth by requiring legislative approval of any new sites. Two years later, the state enacted a separate law to allow learning centers to be established. Learning centers are not stand-alone institutions, rather they are collaborative efforts by multiple institutions to offer particular programs at one location, either with live instruction or online, allowing students from different schools to participate without travelling to a main campus location.[4]

The New Mexico Higher Education Department (HED) provides statewide policy direction, leadership and oversight to New Mexico colleges and universities in many areas including budget review and approval, review of select academic programs and administration of state financial aid programs.[5] Increasing the number of schools, access points and online offerings helped shrink travel times and increase feasible access to higher education for New Mexicans. Some states like Arizona offer more points of access, but fewer systems.

In 2017, the HED convened a Statewide Higher Education Master-plan committee (NM SHEM) composed of key stakeholders and leaders from higher education, public education, business and the executive and legislative branches of state government to develop a strategic plan for higher education in New Mexico. [6] Finding that the number of schools in a state does not determine quality, the HED does not recommend that any New Mexico campuses close. Instead, it suggests exploring efficiencies such as coordinating human resources, streamlining backend administrative services, and taking a closer look at the pros and cons of more online coursework.[7] The Education Advisory Board developed a shared services model to help guide colleges in this area.[8]

Higher Education Governing Authority

The state constitution authorizes the establishment of seven HEIs. Each of these schools is governed by a board of regents consisting of five members except for the University of New Mexico (UNM), which has seven. Regents are appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the state Senate.[9] See Appendix A for a table of universities established by the state constitutions.

Community colleges are another type of HEI. Community support is key in establishing and governing branch and independent community colleges. Existing state law authorizes 10 branch colleges. Communities must request the establishment of a branch college. An advisory board oversees each branch and is composed of either local school board members or a five-member elected branch campus board. The advisory board develops the annual budget and certifies voter-approved tax levies supporting the branch. Oversight, approval and ultimate responsibility for academic programs, tuition rates and budgets rest with the main campus’ board of regents. Of note, some four-year institutions also offer associate programs. See Appendix A for a table of branch community colleges.

Existing state law also authorizes seven independent community colleges, which are also home to technical and vocational programs. Each community college is in an area composed of one or more public school districts. Voters elect the community college board members, who must be at least 21-years-old, qualified electors and residents of the local school districts. Community college boards determine financial, educational and management policies. See Appendix A for a table of independent community colleges.

Higher Education System and Institution Challenges

New Mexico’s HEI’s, like institutions across the nation, face many challenges. To move confidently into the future, schools must closely examine how they are financed, organized and measured.

Financial Health

New Mexico has long prioritized higher education as important to the state, with 13 percent of the state budget devoted to it.[10] Including recent state cuts to higher education, the state remains in the top ten states that spend the most per student on higher education, allocating an average of $8,799 per full-time student.[11] Despite this substantial investment, many are troubled about why New Mexico remains the poorest state in the nation.[12]

State coffers are not the only funding source for New Mexico higher education institutions; they derive revenues from tuition as well as federal and local government. Combined, these revenues totaled $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2016.[13] Much of this funding is allocated to academic instruction and support, student services, administration, operations and maintenance (called out in red circles below).

Figure 12: New Mexico HEI Revenue and Expenses Overview

State funds comprise over half of revenues at most New Mexico institutions with the exception of independent community colleges that rely heavily on local appropriations.[14] Most unrestricted revenues come from state appropriations and are for instruction and general purposes (I&G) with the UNM Health Sciences Center receiving over $121 million of I&G funds. Categories of I&G expenditures include general instruction, academic support, student services, institutional support and operation and maintenance. The chart below provides examples of I&G related expenditures. Of note, information technology is a significant expense allocated across all I&G categories.

TABLE: Examples of I and expenses

General Instruction

$618.5 Million

Academic Support

$123.5 Million

Student Services

$93.0 Million

Institutional Support

$180.9 Million

Plant Operation & Maintenance

$127.8 Million

Academic instruction

Occupational and vocational instruction

Special session instruction

Community education



Audio-visual services

Academic administration and personnel

Course and curriculum development

Supplementary educational services

Counseling and career guidance

Financial aid administration

Student admissions and records

Executive management

Fiscal operations

General administrative services

Community relations

Physical plant administration

Building maintenance

Custodial service


Landscaping and grounds care

With an eye toward a rational method for distributing state funds to New Mexico’s public colleges and universities for I&G, the state uses a funding formula each year to calculate how much each institution should receive. Between the late 1980s and FY12, this formula focused on partially reimbursing the costs of educating students, including instruction, academic support, student services, facilities, and institutional support.[15]Beginning in FY12, the formula was adjusted to also consider institutions’ performance, such as the total number of students graduating from certain certificate and all degree programs. Nationally, 32 use higher education funding formulas that reward colleges and universities for performance outcomes.[16] According to HED, there appears to be a correlation between New Mexico’s modest amount of performance-based formula and increased certificate and degree production statewide. Between FY11 and FY16, the number of New Mexico credential completions in FY16 (22,885) was almost 20 percent higher than in FY11; graduation rates increased 23 percent.

Some argue that adjusting the capital outlay process and the higher education funding formula would help institutions right-size to better meet the needs of today’s and future students. For example, the capital outlay budget process allows funding for constructing buildings, but not for improving existing infrastructure such as increasing broadband or online access in existing structures.[17]

Financial Aid

New Mexico schools are also heavily dependent on federal funding in the form of student financial aid and research dollars through Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act. New Mexico receives direct federal funds through research contracts and grants and indirect federal funding from students receiving federal grants and aid. New Mexico receives more money than the national average due to the state’s financial need and the presence of higher education research focused schools.[18] The Federal Pell Grant program, distributed on a needs basis to students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year, remains the primary source of federal grant aid for over 46,000 New Mexico students with funding totaling $161 million.[19]

Unfortunately, all revenue streams are either diminishing or remain uncertain. Since the 2008 recession, New Mexico has struggled to maintain state funding levels. Declining state oil and gas revenues earlier in the decade contributed to a 33 percent cut to higher education, equal to a $4,509 reduction in per student spending.[20]

Figure 13: Types and percentages of financial aid received by N.M. students, FY2016

Nationwide, funding for major federal higher education programs grew significantly since the onset of the recession, making up somewhat for state shortfalls. [21] However, the purchasing power of federal aid, particularly for the Pell Grant program, has waned in the face of rising college costs.[22] It remains uncertain whether Congress will choose to hold federal financial aid steady, increase it to account for inflation, or reduce the programs.

Enrollment plays a considerable role in how schools support themselves. New Mexico enrollments are down from 155,065 in 2010 to 133,830 in 2016.[23] Reasons for enrollment declines include: “brain drain” (i.e., young and working age New Mexicans seeking education and work elsewhere); an improving economy driving people back into the workforce; and increased tuition and student costs.[24] A drop in enrollment means less tuition revenue. It also results in decreased appropriations institutions receive for degrees awarded and student credit hours completed. These changes can prompt schools to adjust staffing, infrastructure and budgets.[25]

The state Lottery Scholarship is one of the most well-known forms of state financial aid. Higher education leaders are concerned that the recent drop from 90 to 60 percent coverage of tuition costs through the Lottery Scholarship will cause further enrollment declines. In FY17, Lottery Scholarship tuition payments totaled $58.1 million, providing scholarships for 29,143 students that covered 90 percent of tuition costs.[26] Recently signed into law during the 2018 state legislative session was the bipartisan supported SB 140/HB 270 that revised the Lottery Scholarship program by designating a fixed funding amount depending on whether a student is attending a community college or four-year institution.

Another state scholarship program, the College Affordability Fund, provides support for students who do not qualify for the lottery. However, without intervention, that fund will be completely depleted this year. See Chapter 2,  for additional information.

Governance Structure

New Mexico’s decentralized system of higher education governance provides both benefits and disadvantages. Decentralized governance maximizes institutional flexibility and responsiveness in meeting community needs, selecting leadership, fostering educator professional autonomy, developing and amending budgets, and altering academic programming.[27] The boards are also a source for local pride and autonomy.

On the other hand, some argue that the current system lacks adequate oversight and accountability to the detriment of taxpayers and students. For example, according to the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC), some institutions have allowed unsustainable operational spending and institutional fund balances, embezzlement, mismanaging funds, and mismanagement of capital outlay projects.[28] In addition, the current governance structure does not inherently reward collaboration among the schools, a practice that could contribute to less duplication, increased efficiencies and better student outcomes. The LFC also asserts that some schools are proactively improving efficiencies while others struggle financially.

Given the number of institutions, boards of regents and advisory boards, the overall cost of New Mexico’s system, and concerns about effective oversight and duplication, many have asked whether the state should consider a more centralized higher education system. The HED looked closely at this question. In 2017, the department garnered feedback from over 100 higher education stakeholders, established the NM SHEM Committee, and studied the examples of the governing structures for all 50 states.[29] Based on this research, New Mexico the committee recommended that no changes be made to the fundamental governance structure. It recommended that the state create a New Mexico Higher Education Council. The council would include representatives of state college and university associations, as well as the cabinet secretaries for the economic development, workforce development, and finance and administration departments.[30]

Building on the research above, the HED and LFC determined that changing the governing structure would not inherently result in significant cost savings, efficiencies or better student outcomes.[31] However, if the state keeps its decentralized system of 21 governing boards and 10 advisory boards, wrote the HED in its 2017 annual report, further work must be done to increase efficiencies and improve student outcomes. [32]

Measuring Higher Education Institution Performance

Higher education institution performance is measured by federal, state, regional and program-specific accrediting bodies that apply various metrics to evaluate school performance and student success. Entities that oversee and measure institution performance include boards of regents and advisory boards, the HED, the state Legislature and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). While New Mexico remains a low-cost state overall, studies have shown that many of our institutions lag behind peers on outcomes and efficient spending.[33] Therefore many of the suggestions from national experts measure both cost, efficiency and student outcomes.

In addition, education leaders argue that institutional performance should take into account the population of students who arrive at their doors, unprepared for college, from poor households, with economic and social burdens much larger than HEIs alone can carry and resolve. No longer can schools expect that students are “college-ready.” Instead, schools must be “student-ready” – ready to provide services and guidance beyond the classroom for students to succeed.[34]

Regarding cost reduction, some people suggest that New Mexico increase the number of online or hybrid (partly online) courses. More students can take classes remotely, and online courses generally require fewer faculty. However, this solution is not likely to work in all cases. Not all students learn well online, and not all courses can be developed well online (i.e., physical science lab courses). Additionally, online courses may be outside of the reach of some students in New Mexico who have limited access to computers or internet.[35]


Accreditation is not only important, but critical to student success and the continued existence of higher education institutions. Broadly speaking, accreditation is a mark of quality and signifies whether a school meets or exceeds minimum standards. It helps students identify acceptable institutions for enrollment, and employers know whether a graduate is qualified. The accreditation process involves school staff, faculty, students, graduates and advisory boards in institutional evaluation and planning. This continual process results in goals for institutional self-improvement and provides a self-regulatory alternative for state oversight functions. Students and graduates of accredited schools can rely on their coursework and degrees being accepted by other schools as well as by employers.[36] Accreditation also provides a basis for determining eligibility for federal student assistance. Only accredited schools can offer students federal financial aid.

The HLC is the regional accrediting body for New Mexico higher education institutions. The HLC accreditation criteria include the following:[37]

  • Mission: The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.
  • Integrity: The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.
  • Quality, Resources, and Support: The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.
  • Evaluation and Improvement: The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
  • Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness: The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings and respond to future challenges and opportunities; the institution plans for the future.

The HLC also uses a Composite Financial Index Score (CFI) to measure short- and long-term health of institutions. Funding decreases, short-term borrowing patterns, and economic downturns negatively affect CFI scores.[38]

Fiscal operations of some schools are unfortunately placing regional and program accreditations at risk. More than half of New Mexico’s higher education institutions are not meeting financial health benchmarks.[39] For example, Luna Community College (LCC) may lose its accreditation due to fiscal, administrative and governance mismanagement.[40] If it does lose accreditation, LCC students will have to persuade other schools to recognize their completed coursework. Dollars spent on their education could be lost and leave them without a degree.

Additionally, high student loan default rates are one of the determining financial health factors measured by accreditors. While New Mexico has made modest improvements in student loan default rates in recent years, New Mexico and West Virginia lead the nation in student loan default rates at over 18 percent while the national average is 11 percent.[41] Institutions with high student loan default rates of 30 percent or higher in three consecutive cohorts risk losing their accreditation.[42]

Increasingly, degree programs within higher education institutions such as nursing programs are also accredited by national accrediting bodies and may also be regulated by a state licensure board.

State Performance Measures

To improve fiscal accountability and improved performance, the LFC has recommended that the Legislature consider using the Accountability in Government Act (AGA) measures along with a revised funding formula that provides meaningful rewards to high-performing, highly efficient institutions.[43] One of the ACA measures for HED performance includes evaluating the department’s strategic initiatives, such as on-time degree completion, postsecondary credential attainment and financial controls. The AGA also measures institutions. The HEI measures were recently revised, creating more comparability between New Mexico’s colleges and universities.

State funding for HEIs is moving from an input-based model (how many students are enrolled) to an outcome-based model (i.e., are students graduating, is the institution graduating underserved and minority students, are the institutions graduating students with the skills to match workforce needs, is science being advanced).[44] In addition, HED now requires universities to report the four-year graduation rates for first-time freshman. Previously, six-year graduation rates were reported.

For the HED Adult Education program, the department has implemented core performance measures to help ensure meaningful student progress and guide program planning and curricula.[45] The program assists adults, including parents and English Learners, to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency. New Mexico’s eligible adults represent important human and economic potential when they are provided access to education and training. The performance measures include:

  • Attaining a high school equivalency credential
  • Obtaining and retaining employment
  • Transitioning to postsecondary education

Additional Ways to Measure Performance

Increasingly, higher education leaders and policymakers seek additional ways to more comprehensively and accurately measure institutional performance. National organizations have suggested additional ways to better measure higher education institution performance. For example, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine proposed the following measures:[46]

  • Completion and enrollment ratios
  • Time to degree
  • Costs per credit or degree
  • Student-faculty ratios

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which promotes policy innovation and effectiveness of state legislatures, suggested the following performance measures on certificates and degrees:[47]

  • The number awarded in state workforce priority areas
  • The number earned by financially at-risk students

Multiple other organizations have also given thought to evaluating higher education; additional ideas not reflected above include:[48]

  • Course completion rates
  • Tracking student attainment of educational goals
  • Number of graduates with jobs in their area of study
  • Median wages of graduates

Reforms and Options

New Mexico schools continue to seek ways to increase efficiency and trim budgets to account for reduced revenues while at the same time delivering the education expected of its students, current and future.

Reforms in Mtion

If students succeed, so too do higher education institutions. To promote student success and timely completion, and collaboration among institutions, HED has led statewide articulation reforms called for in the Transfer of College Credits Act, which became law in 2017.[49] These articulation reforms reduce barriers to graduating on time and more efficiently guide students to graduating in an area that leads to meaningful and gainful employment. The three cornerstones of this effort include collaboration among New Mexico institutions to:

  • Develop and sustain a common course numbering system, which can ease credit transfer and articulation for students who transfer to other New Mexico schools. (A crosswalk of the entire common course numbering system is scheduled to be implemented in Fall 2018.)
  • Implement an improved general education core curriculum, emphasizing essential transferable skills that every college student should possess. (Identification and certification of courses begins in Spring 2018.)
  • Develop statewide meta-majors to guide students to take the courses that will ultimately count toward their degree requirements for their major. (Institutions are currently uploading their degree plans that will undergo analytics to identify state meta-majors.)

The HED and HIEs are also working together to implement effective remediation strategies to help students graduate and graduate sooner with less debt. [50] (See Chapter 1 for information on remediation.)

New Mexico higher education institutions are also collaborating on their own, working together with industry. For example, the schools in the seven-county northern New Mexico region are working with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to better align students (K-12 and post-secondary) and the current workforce with growing regional industries.[51] Doing so could potentially improve financial stability for families and communities and foster future industry and economic growth in the region.

Creative solutions

In addition, most would agree that higher education institutions must start diversifying their funding sources through philanthropy, endowment fund growth, additional federal funding and expanded technology transfer.[52] Some innovative ideas from higher education leaders include:[53]

  • Leverage available funds through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) federal job training legislation that provides funding for training, employment and tuition assistance for low-income adults, dislocated workers and youth. The WIA funds are administered by the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions.
  • Link the lottery scholarship funds to an expectation that recipients will work in New Mexico; require students who leave the state after college graduation to pay back a portion of their scholarship (say, five percent of the first-year salary).
  • Hire student case managers at HIEs who are connected with workforce centers, businesses and industry – thus improving students’ abilities to get jobs after graduation (i.e., SUN PATH Consortium described in Chapter 5).
  • Promote concrete financial investments by industry in higher education through grants, scholarships and internships, thus growing the pipeline of potential future employees.
  • Improve enrollment and thus the amount of tuition received by developing relatable marketing campaigns demonstrating the value of higher education on daily household finances, future careers, and opportunities for self-discovery; potentially highlight the value of college for people who are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Higher education was also on the minds of many state legislators during the 2018 state legislative session. Legislators offered proposals in the areas of higher education governance, establishing school to career pathways and fostering transferable skills for today’s students and workforce such as through learning soft skills. (See Appendix F for a list of higher education related legislation introduced during the 2018 legislative session.)

At the federal level, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich cosponsored the America’s College Promise bill (S.2483/H.R.3709) which would create a new federal-state partnership to provide two years of tuition-free access to community or technical college programs that lead to a degree or industry-recognized credential. This legislation would:[54]

  • Create a new partnership between the federal government and states and Indian tribes to help them waive resident tuition in two years of community and technical college programs for eligible students, while promoting key reforms to accelerate student success
  • Provide a federal match of $3 for every $1 invested by the state to waive community college tuition and fees for eligible students before other financial aid is applied
  • Ensure that programs offer academic credits which are fully transferable to four-year institutions in their state, or occupational training that leads to credentials in an in-demand industry
  • Maintain and encourage state funding for higher education
  • Establish a new grant program to provide pathways to success at minority-serving institutions by helping them cover a significant portion of tuition and fees for the first two years of attendance for low-income students

The legislation is supported by the Association of Community College Trustees, American Association of Community Colleges, Center for Law and Social Policy, and Young Invincibles.

Student Case Study: Successful Transfers

Tessa Snyder, Multiple Campuses


In Tessa Snyder’s academic career, she has taken on pharmacy school, hands-on experiences in the health field, and co-founded a health career oriented student support group, all while serving as a reservist. Although Tessa knew from the sixth grade that she wanted to have a career in health, it was her internships in the field that solidified her passion. Committing to a health career academic path meant Tessa navigated successful transition from community college at UNM-Los Alamos, to UNM’s main campus, then on to the UNM College of Pharmacy. Along the way, she received support from her fellow classmates, mentors, library resources and her family. Tessa encourages post-secondary institutions to invest resources towards guiding each student through the many transitions required throughout their education. She also believes efforts should be made to ensure students are more aware of the opportunities and educational supports available to them before they begin as well as throughout their higher education journey.

Intersections and Conclusion

Higher education institutions are the foundations for our communities. They offer hope and opportunity to families and are the engines that drive workforce and economic development in our state. Access to higher education in a large geographic state is a challenge calling for continued effective use of technology and also ways to provide the in-person experiential learning that is so valued by students and employers. All things cost, however. How to pay for the type of education in demand and needed in our poor state is a significant challenge for New Mexico’s higher education institutions. Today’s bottom lines in higher education also call for more comprehensive measurement of institution performance. These ideas closely align with student success and student finance (addressed in Chapters 1 and 2), as well as industry partnerships to support future workforce needs (addressed in Chapters 4, 5 and 6).  Continued collaboration among institutions, governments and industry may advance important reforms on these topics.



[1] (N.M. Higher Education Department)

[2] (Hartzler, 2018)

[3] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[4] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[5] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[6] (N.M. Higher Education Department, New Mexico Higher Education Governance Structure: Study and Recommendations Report, 2017)

[7] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2018)

[8] (Education Advisory Board, 2016)

[9] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[10] (Albuquerque Journal, Higher Education Town Hall, 2017)

[11] (Galvin, 2017; Courtney, 2018)

[12] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[13] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[14] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[15] (N.M. Higher Education Department, Funding Formula Guide, 2017)

[16] (N.M. Higher Education Department, Funding Formula Guide, 2017)

[17] (Albuquerque Journal, Higher Education Town Hall, 2017) 

[18] (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2015)

[19] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[20] (Nott, 2017; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2017) 

[21] (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2015)

[22] (Douglas, 2017)

[23] (Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board, 2017)

[24] (Marcus, 2017; Strayer, 2016)

[25] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[26] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[27] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[28] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[29] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[30] (N.M. Higher Education Department, Governance Structure: Study and Recommendations, 2017)

[31] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017; N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[32] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[33] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[34] (Albuquerque Journal, Higher Education Town Hall event, 2017)

[35] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[36] (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.)

[37] (The Higher Learning Commission, n.d.)

[38] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[39] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[40] (Carillo, 2017)

[41] (NM in Focus, 2016; Student Loan Report, 2017)

[42] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[43] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[44] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[45] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[46] (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, n.d.)

[47] (National Conference of State Legislatures, n.d.)

[48] (HCM Strategists, n.d.; N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, 2017)

[49] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[50] (N.M. Higher Education Department, 2017)

[51] (Grassberger, 2017)

[52] (N.M. Legislative Finance Committee, N.M. Higher Education Department letter, 2017) (DeKay, 2018)

[53] (Albuquerque Business First Higher Education Forum, 2017; N.M. Voices for Children, 2015

[54] (Heinrich, 2018)

Won’t you please support New Mexico First?

Some of Our Sponsors