To the Editor:

Why does Western cost so much?

If you were to guess “which state university in New Mexico is the most expensive to attend"—attend means tuition, fees, housing and meals—what would you guess? UNM, New Mexico Tech? Wrong, the most expensive university to attend is our little rural (applied) liberal arts university, Western New Mexico University.

Western has the highest cost of attendance in the state, $3,300 a year more expensive than Eastern, $2,250 more expensive than Highlands, $2,100 a year more expensive than NMSU, $1,820 a year more expensive that New Mexico Tech and even $400 a year more expensive than UNM.

The State of New Mexico divides its four-year schools into two groups; research universities, UNM, NMSU and New Mexico Tech and comprehensive schools, Eastern, Highlands, Northern New Mexico and Western.

For tuition and fees, Western is the most expensive comprehensive school in the state, $900 a year more expensive than Eastern, $1,018 a year more expensive than Highlands and $2,058 a year more expensive than Northern New Mexico. Western is only about $320 a year less expensive than the research universities.

Western is the most expensive school in the state for students on the Lottery Scholarship. It’s not only more expensive than the other comprehensive schools; it’s also $800 a year more expensive than UNM and NMSU.

Western wasn’t always the high cost school, in 2012-13 Western was less expensive than Eastern. In the last five years Western has increased its tuition and fees by 54%. To put that in perspective UNM has increased its tuition and fees only 14.9% during the same period.

The administration and the Board of Regents of Western have let the people of Southwest New Mexico down. There’s no reason that a student at Western should pay $1,000 a year more than a student in Las Vegas for the same education.

I think anyone in business knows that it does not require management skill to be the highest cost supplier of a good or service.

I have asked this question of the administration of Western and Board of Regents of Western and never received an answer, but the people of Southwestern New Mexico deserve an answer. WHY DOES WESTERN COST SO MUCH?

Alfred Milligan
Silver City

Live from Silver City

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