Enrollment is underway now for Late Starting Courses at The University of New Mexico. These courses, often referred to as intersession classes, are a valuable option for students trying to obtain or maintain eligibility for the Legislative Lottery Scholarship (LLS).

The short courses during winter break can also help students stay on track or even get ahead in their degree programs. However, due to a huge increase in enrollment, UNM will now charge a new fee of $150 per person to continue providing the classes. Instructional costs for the program are in addition to the standard fall semester courses and are paid by the schools and colleges offering the classes.

Students who have 15 credit hours are able to take a late starting class with no additional tuition and fee charges due to the credit hour block that offers 18 hours at the same cost as 15. With the popularity of the program, participation has grown steadily over the years. However, when the LLS moved in 2013 to up the required credit hours to 15, as opposed to 12, enrollment soared by 34 percent.

“Late starting classes were implemented to help incoming students get the lottery scholarship because they only have one shot,” said Terry Babbitt, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “If they come up short and don’t meet the requirements, then they’ll never have that financial assistance. We know it makes a tremendous difference in whether many of them will ever graduate.”

For initial LSS eligibility, fall semester outcomes are very high stakes. Students who do not earn 15 credit hours and a 2.5 grade point average can never become eligible for the program.

As University leaders grapple with budget cuts, and the college reserves used to pay for this popular option dwindle, the decision to impose the new fee was made in hopes of breaking even on the instructional expenses. Unlike other colleges, UNM does not treat the classes as a separate term charging full tuition and fees.

“If a student took a three-hour class in a standalone term, the cost would be about $1,000, but with the enrollment block benefitting a large number of people, we can make the cost of a late starting class substantially less,” Babbitt said.

Late Starting Courses are counted in the student's total credit hours for the preceding semester. They are offered between the last Friday of the term and the Sunday prior to the start of the next term in the Fall and Spring semesters. Registration began Oct. 24. For more information, visit Late Starting Classes.

In addition to the classes offered on main campus, some branch campuses and UNM West may also offer late-starting courses. A small selection of online courses may also be offered in the late-starting time frame.