Regents at the University of New Mexico approved an innovative tuition model designed to promote student success, support faculty and academic initiatives, and align the University's budget with state funding formula requirements. It also provides funding for President Robert Frank's economic development and globalization initiatives, the second year of the Provost's five-year academic plan and permanent funding for University Libraries.

The restructure calls for a tuition and fee increase based on the number of credit hours a student takes and should work as an incentive for students to take more hours and graduate sooner, reducing the overall cost of their education. Students taking 15 to 18 hours would see a 6.6 percent increase or roughly $400 year for a total of $6,446. Students taking 12 hours would see a tuition and fee increase of 13.2 percent or $800 more for a total of $6,846. Currently, full-time UNM students (12-18 credit hours) pay $6,050 in tuition and fees.

Financial aid is also a big part of the package. Approximately 20 percent of the new revenue, an estimated $1.6 million, will be available for students who encounter difficulty with the new tuition model.

Under the current tuition model, 46 percent of students graduate in six years, while only 15 percent graduate in four years. This new approach is designed to give students an incentive to take more classes and graduate sooner, making their overall college education less expensive and getting them into the workforce sooner.

"Graduating in four years translates into students and their parents spending less money and incurring less debt," Frank said.

Frank also emphasized that this new approach is critical to performance acceleration by
growing and retaining faculty, recruiting honors students in N.M. and building upon the newly redesigned Honors College.

It also funds a Global Education Office to actively recruit international students, and other initiatives that enhance student success such as the Math Learning Lab (MaLL), Foundations of Excellence, Lobo Achieve program and the Lobo Early Start Program.

The funding measure provides a three percent pay increase for faculty and a one percent increase for staff, graduate and teacher assistants to go along with a $1,000 one-time stipend. The new tuition model also restructures student fees, which will now be about $50 per hour for 14 or fewer credit hours, and $48 per hour for students taking 15 to 18 credits. Student fees to fund libraries will not increase. Instead that expense will go into the tuition cost to students. However, the regents did approve a $900,000 fee increase for athletics to bring the department up to par
in funding with competitive schools in the Mountain West Conference.

Under this new budgeting model, university leadership will monitor, evaluate and make changes as necessary to ensure it is reaching the intended goals. "Higher education has changed dramatically. The university, the state and the nation all expect more. This new model creates a path for UNM to meet or exceed those expectations," Frank said.