September 7, 2011 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center
A total of 30,493 students were counted across all New Mexico State University campuses on Sept. 2, the university’s fall 2011 census date. That’s a decrease of 1.2 percent from the all-time high recorded last fall. NMSU’s Las Cruces campus tallied 18,024 students, a dip of 2.8 percent from the same time last year. Those numbers follow a spring semester during which NMSU graduated the largest class in its history.
“During the past year, we have begun to really feel the results of budget reductions. Those cuts have resulted in fewer new faculty being hired and a decreased flexibility in student support areas,” said Bernadette Montoya, NMSU’s vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. “Our enrollment is not as high as it has been in years past, but we don’t anticipate being able to sustain growth and quality with decreasing resources. NMSU prides itself on small class sizes and the ability of our faculty to focus on the quality education that they are known to provide. Ensuring that students are able to meet their academic goals and earn their degrees continues to be our top priority and focus throughout our system.”
This marks the first decrease in fall enrollment at NMSU’s Las Cruces campus in six years. Student credit hours dropped 0.9 percent systemwide and 1.4 percent at the Las Cruces campus. The biggest decrease in student credit hours came at the graduate level, which lost 5.9 percent. This loss is partially attributed to cutbacks in federal support.
NMSU Alamogordo’s fall 2011 enrollment was 3,372, down 12.5 percent. NMSU Carlsbad counted 1,744 students, down 7.6 percent. NMSU Grants tallied 1,257 students, a decrease of 19.6 percent. NMSU’s Dona Ana Community College had an enrollment of 9,803, a gain of 0.1 percent.