Last Updated: September 19, 2021
New Mexico - Land of Enchantment
The state of New Mexico lies in the southwest and western portion of the US. The southern and eastern sides of the state are bordered by Mexico and Texas respectively. Most parts of New Mexico experience a semi-arid to arid climate throughout the year. However, some areas have an alpine and continental climate. The total population of this American state in the year 2021 is around 2.1 million out of which approximately 50 percent is Hispanic. New Mexico with its diverse population offers unique and exciting experiences and opportunities for the residents. The popular languages spoken in this state are Spanish and English.
The public university system of the state is considered one of the best in the nation. There are several universities in the state of New Mexico where students can pursue higher education such as the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Technical School of Mines, Western New Mexico University New Mexico Highlands University, and Eastern New Mexico University.
The University of New Mexico has good programs for Engineering, Photography, Medicine, and Law. The School of Medicine of the University of New Mexico ranks amongst the premium 50 primary care-oriented medical schools in the nation. Those students who want to pursue a career in arts and humanities should enroll in the private College of Santa Fe. New Mexico State University, a land grant institution, has excellent programs for Agriculture, Education, and Engineering.
Major Cities in New Mexico
Albuquerque is the biggest city in New Mexico, with an estimated population of around 560,000. The city was founded in the year 1706. It was named after the Duke of Alburquerque, Francisco Fernández de la Cueva. Given that it is a major financial, commercial, and industrial epicenter, unemployment rates are less in this city. Manufacturing, health services, tourism, and farming are the major industries in this city. The city is also home to top institutes like the University of New Mexico-Main Campus and the National American University-Albuquerque.
This is the second-largest city with a population of about 102,000. The city was founded in 1849 and established as a city in the year 1907. The name of the city is a Spanish term which means 'the crosses' or 'The City of Crosses". One of the popular reasons for the city to have such a name is the number of wooden crosses visible on the graves of the city's martyrs. The famous New Mexico State University-Main Campus is situated in this city. Popular attractions include New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage, Dripping Springs Natural Area, Zuhl Museum: Home of the Zuhl Collection, and Prehistoric Trackways National Monument.
Founded in 1961, the city of Rio Rancho is not very old compared to other cities. But on digging deeper into its roots, the city was founded by the Spanish in 1710. It is the third-largest city with a population of around 97,000. Due to its affordability and diversity, the city is the most livable one in New Mexico. Intel, Chalmers Ford, Lovelace Health System, and KLA are the major companies located in this city.
With a population of about 84,000, the city of Santa Fe is the fourth-biggest in New Mexico. Founded in 1610, it is one of the oldest cities with a rich history and is also the state's capital city. The famous liberal arts college St. John's College is situated here. The cost of living is greatly different compared to other cities and is higher than the national average. It is also a major tourist destination with places like Canyon Road, Santa Fe Opera House, the Plaza, Museum of International Folk Art, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, etc.
- In New Mexico, numerous industries contribute to the state's economy. However, the major economic areas are Oil and Gas Production, Aerospace and Defense, Farming, Logistics and Transportation, and Mineral Extraction.
- Some of the major employers in the state are Los Alamos National Laboratory, The University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Akal Security, Sandia National Laboratories, Presbyterian, First Alamogordo Bancorp of Nevada, Ernest Health, GCC Dacotah, and Lovelace Health System.
- The economy of New Mexico has not been extremely great for years. However, after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic many industries faced severe blows. Manufacturing, tourism, and hospitality were the worst-hit sectors.
- With an increase in the number of jobs after the relaxation of the covid-19 protocols, employment rates have increased in this state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has dropped from about 8.3% in February 2021, to 7.6% in July 2021.
- With a GDP growth of only 4.5%, there is not much progress visible in terms of economic growth. However, a gradual recovery is expected after the relaxation of restrictions.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in New Mexico
The cost of living in New Mexico is around 90, which is lower than the national average (100 is the US average). The median household income here is around $53,000 (the national median is around $67,000). The cost of living in cities like Roswell, Clovis, and Las Cruces is a lot lesser, whereas the city of Santa Fe is the costliest. In fact, the city's cost of living is higher than the national average. Considering the state as a whole, the cost for health services, housing, and transportation are the cheapest, whereas, utilities cost slightly higher than the national average.
Educational costs are also slightly cheaper than in major cities like New York. It is most affordable for in-state students studying in a public institution. For instance, the cost of education for undergraduate in-state students in the University of New Mexico-Main Campus, and the New Mexico State University-Main Campus is just around $8,400. With the availability of various financial aid and scholarships, pursuing education in this state is extremely affordable.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
The top institutes of higher learning in this state are:
- University of New Mexico-Main Campus Situated in the city of Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico is one of the most prestigious institutes of higher learning in this state. It is a public research university founded in the year 1889. With around 28,000 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The university has more than 22-degree programs and some of the best faculty members. It is also known for its beautiful campus, diverse student body, academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and most importantly, its affordability. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is around $8,400 and around $26,000 for out-of-state students.
- New Mexico State University-Main Campus Founded in the year 1888, the New Mexico State University-Main Campus is situated in Las Cruces and was originally called 'Las Cruces College'. It is a prestigious public university known for its great teaching-learning experience, excellent research, and offers more than 180 programs. This institution aims to develop the problem-solving skills of its scholars to effectively face real-world problems. Making quality education affordable and accessible is also the specialty of this institution. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is around $8,400 and around $26,000 for out-of-state students.
- St. John's College (Santa Fe) This is the best liberal arts private institute in New Mexico. Being one of the oldest institutes, it was founded in 1696, and was initially called 'King William's School'. With around 470 students, the student-to-teacher ratio is 7:1. The college is popular for its extensive curriculum, creative learning methods, excellent faculty, and extracurricular activities. This college aims to educate its students in diverse fields that give scope for a dynamic future, and lucrative careers. It pays special attention to acquiring knowledge through reading as many books as possible.
- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology This is a public institute situated in Socorro, based on STEM fields. With more than 2,000 students and more than 170 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. It was founded in 1889 by the New Mexico Territorial Legislature. It is well-known for its diverse student body, scholarships, and extensive research in the fields of biology, hydrology, astrophysics, and atmospheric physics. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is around $10,000 and about $26,000 for out-of-state students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
- New Mexico Scholars Program: This scholarship program is initiated by the Higher Education Department (HED) of New Mexico. The aim is to assist high school seniors who are planning to attend an undergraduate program. The student must enroll at an accredited institute on a full-time basis and must be below 21 years of age. Because it is a need-based and a merit-based program, the applicant must display a required level of economic need, and also secure a score of 25 for the ACT and a score of 1140 for SAT. Apart from that, during high school, the student should also be among the top 5% of the class. The award amount will vary based on the needs of the student as well as the institution.
- Aggie Achiever Scholarship: This is a scholarship program offered by the New Mexico State University, to assist undergraduate students. The program gives priority to financial needs as well as extraordinary academic merit. To be qualified, the student must attend an accredited institute on a full-time basis and cover 15 credit hours per semester. The candidate must also secure and maintain a score of 3.75 GPA or more, and a minimum score of 1310 for SAT or above 28 ACT Score. Additionally, the student should be a US citizen, a New Mexico resident, and must have attended high school in the state or provide a GED certificate.
- New Mexico Student Incentive Grant: This scholarship program is for the residents of New Mexico who are planning to attend an undergraduate program from an accredited 4-year institute or a tribal college. The award amount may vary from $200 to $2,500 per year. To be eligible for the program, the student must demonstrate the required level of economic need, attend college on a part-time or full-time basis, and be a citizen of the US. The student must have attended high school in the state of New Mexico.
- ISNetworld Scholarship: This program is sponsored by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) for all undergraduate and postgraduate students regardless of US citizenship. Even so, students belonging to states like New Mexico will be given more preference. To be qualified, the student must pursue a degree in 'occupational safety and health' or any area of study related to the field. There are a total of three awards and the award amount is $3,000. The student must also secure and maintain a score of 3.0 GPA, submit an essay, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and the necessary academic transcripts. The student should also have a student's membership for ASSE.
- New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship: This program is for undergraduate students who will be starting the second semester of their course. The student must pursue a degree from an accredited public institution (2-year or 4-year) on a full-time basis, and must also cover 15 credit hours by the end of the first semester. Students attending a community college will have to cover 12 credit hours. However, the credit hours will be compromised for disabled students. Apart from this, the candidate should be a US citizen, must have attended high school in New Mexico, and should secure and maintain a score of 2.5 GPA. The award amount will vary depending on the need of the student as well as the institution.
New Mexico got its popular nickname "Land of Enchantment" because of its beautiful landscapes, exotic culture, artistic, unique architecture, and rich heritage. The term was coined by Lilian Whiting, an American journalist, and author. It will be indeed believable once the place is explored. Popular tourist destinations are Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Park, White Sands National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Petroglyph National Monument, Taos Ski Valley, Wheeler Peak Wilderness, and a lot more. One should make time to attend the famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in this state. It is best to experience the beauty of the state between September and November, which will help visitors to enjoy its pleasant yet chilly weather. Popular dishes of this state are Blue Corn Pancakes, Carne Adovada, Posole, Chile Rellenos, and Tacos.
Universities & Colleges in New Mexico
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)