Mexican students beginning this fall semester at New Mexico State University are getting a big break on tuition. The school has slashed their out-of-state rate by half.
Alejandro Arnau of Mexico City aspires to one day be president of his country. For now he's a criminal justice major at NMSU in Las Cruces. This semester, his last before graduation, he's paying at least 40 percent less in tuition than previous semesters.
"It makes a great difference not only for the student but for the school because it's a great recruitment tool," Arnau said.
That's exactly what NMSU is hoping for. The school, about 40 miles north of the Mexican border, has seen declines in both its enrollment and revenue in recent years.
"We haven't seen an increase yet," said Cornell Menking, associate provost for International and Border Programs. "But we expect a dramatic increase by next Fall, hopefully in the Spring, because we have had a lot of inquiries."
He said university staff is actively recruiting students in the northern Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora.
Mexico typically sends the highest number of international students to NMSU with 151 currently enrolled. Special rates for Mexican students already exist at other schools near the border, including the University of Texas at El Paso. The new rate for full time Mexican students at NMSU is less than $5,000 dollars per semester, which is still higher than in state tuition.