The UNM Board of Regents on Monday heard a proposal that could give students the option to choose a slightly higher but fixed tuition rate for the following four years.
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Terry Babbitt presented the proposal at the meeting, which was held in the Student Union Building that morning. Babbitt said the University’s Tuition and Fee Policy Committee has been working on the model at the request of UNM President Robert Frank.
Babbitt said his team has been researching similar guaranteed tuition models at universities nationwide to compare with the proposed model. He said that although some models for other universities are mandatory, UNM’s guaranteed tuition model would only be optional.
“We investigated several models around the country,” he said. “The item that we’re updating on is the voluntary model of guaranteed tuition. Essentially, a student would have to opt in for that model.”
According to a document distributed at the meeting, UNM’s current in-state full-time undergraduate tuition, $6,447 per school year, would increase by 10 percent to $7,091 through the proposed model. If a student takes this option next school year, their tuition will stay at the increased amount until 2017.
“That will be comparable to an annual tuition increase of about 6 percent that they won’t have to pay in four years,” Babbitt said.
Through the present tuition model, the Board of Regents decides whether to increase tuition annually.
According to the document, the University estimates an average tuition increase of 6.4 percent every year starting next school year. This trend suggests tuition is expected to continually increase by about $450 per school year, leading to an expected tuition of $7,765 per school year by fiscal year 2017.
Consequently, the guaranteed tuition model would result in a four-year cumulative tuition of $28,366, while the traditional model would result in $28,370 for tuition.
Babbitt said his team has already consulted with the Provost’s Office and with the Bursar’s Office, and said they will continue to work on the proposed model this month.
At the meeting, Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs presented to the Board of Regents the department’s financial data for fiscal year 2014.
Last year, Athletics received $4 million in student fees in accordance with an allocation made by the Board of Regents, Krebs said. He said the amount accounted for 13 percent of the department’s entire budget for the fiscal year.
According to a document from Athletics, the amount of student fees received by Athletics has more than doubled since fiscal year 2012. That year, Athletics received $1.8 million in student fees. In fiscal year 2013, the department received $3 million.
Last month, the Student Fee Review Board approved Athletics’ student fee allocation request for another $4 million for fiscal year 2015.
According to the document, ticket sales made up the biggest portion of the department’s revenue stream, earning Athletics about $7.1 million. Total revenue is estimated at $30.4 million.
Krebs said men’s and women’s basketball ticket sales made up the majority of the total sales at $5 million. Football ticket sales accounted for about $2 million.
“You can see that a great turnout of our students is very supportive and very vibrant,” he said. “We’re getting students to go to the actual games. Our students do not pay for any athletic events.”