By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Jessica Bryan said choosing to attend Eastern New Mexico University this fall was an easy choice for her.
“It’s cheaper and I also got a scholarship. It’s not home but it’s close to home,” said Bryan, a freshman from Clovis. “I liked the student to
teacher ratio and they have a lot of events going on.”
Bryan contributes to another record-breaking fall enrollment at ENMU which reached 5,856, according to an ENMU press release. Monday’s enrollment numbers topped last year’s by an additional 42 students.
ENMU President Steven Gamble said the increase was a close call but with factors such as ENMU having the fourth lowest tuition for a four-year public institution in the Southwest, he understands that the school is still competitive in the realm of high school seniors.
“It was a very pleasant surprise. We did think we were going to be down about 50 (students), instead we’re up about 50,” Gamble said. “We’ll take that any day we can get it.”
ENMU’s annual cost for tuition and fees is $4,558, according to the press release.
Although the number of incoming freshmen fell from 709 in 2012 to 663 this fall semester, Gamble said the number of graduate students and dual-enrollment students, high school students who take college-credit courses, are what bumped up enrollment.
“Grad students sure helped and a good increase in dual-enrollment students,” Gamble said.
Gamble named bilingual education, communicative disorders and business administration as the top three grad programs. The number of grad students increased from 1,228 last year to 1,283.
Gamble also noted that the school’s retention rate has dropped from 62.5 percent to 58 percent.
“That is obviously something we do not want to see. At this point we don’t know why until we analyze the data. It’s a trend statewide talking to other universities,” Gamble said. “We’re just happy to be growing a little bit.”
Alexandra Rodriguez of Fort Sumner said “cheap and convenience” were important for her when choosing a school but the freshman said she had more invested in ENMU because it’s a family tradition.
“My dad and brother went here, there’s pressure to live up to what they did,” Rodriguez said.
Like her brother, Rodriguez is studying broadcast journalism and production and hopes to one day work behind the scenes at a local news station. But for now, she’s focused on embracing the college life.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all these new people,” Rodriguez said. “I just love meeting new people and making new friends.”
Fall enrollment numbers at ENMU
* — All-time record