Enrollment dropped by 5.1 percent at New Mexico State University for Fall 2013. It is the third year in a row it has dropped.
New Mexico State University - which includes the main Las Cruces campus and satellite campuses in Southern New Mexico - had a total of 28,262 students across all campuses Sept. 6, the university's fall 2013 census date.
NMSU's Las Cruces campus has 16,765 students, a decrease of 5 percent.
"We expected our enrollment to be down, as a system, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and that's what we're seeing," said Bernadette Montoya, NMSU's vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. "What we are learning from our colleagues at other universities around the state is that they are showing flat or decreased enrollment as well."
Enrollment at NMSU Alamogordo this semester was 2,458, down 22.5 percent from last fall. NMSU Carlsbad's enrollment was 1,861, down 9.7 percent from the previous year. NMSU's Dona Ana Community College had 8,837 students, down 4.7 percent. NMSU Grants had 970 students, down 15 percent.
"We have fewer first-time freshmen, which we believe is related to a decrease in high school graduates in New Mexico and the improving economy," Montoya said. "When we look at the demographics, we predict the number of high school graduates in the state to increase over the next five years."