NMMI voted most beautiful military campus

April 3, 2017 • Local News

The New Mexico Military Institute was voted “Most Beautiful Military School in America.” This aerial photo was representing NMMI for the contest. (Submitted Photo)

Desert school beats ocean’s academy in nationwide contest

While most teachers and students were on spring break, good news arrived at the New Mexico Military Institute from Austin, Texas. NMMI won the national “Most Beautiful Military School in America” online contest, organized by the webpage guide for military schools around the nation,
There were several rounds that NMMI had to go through since the contest started in early March.
“Then we were in the top three,” Colleen Cole-Velasquez, director of marketing and communications at NMMI, said. “They didn’t tell us how many votes we got. We won nationwide and the Army and Navy academy is right on the ocean.”
Out of 20 competing schools, NMMI beat military schools such as the Randolph-Macon Academy in Virginia and the Riverside Military Academy in Georgia.
Cadets, alumni, parents, families and friends were contacted by the schools to participate in the voting. The contest was also open for the public to vote.
“It was great being recognized because most people outside of the state don’t understand the culture and the history and the beauty of our school,” Cole-Velasquez said. “The fact that we were recognized for this brings a new perspective to our name.”
Cole-Velasquez said the honor is especially satisfying coming during NMMI’s 125th anniversary.
“Our school is very excited that we were selected. Especially with the competition. We beat the ocean,” she said.
Asked if the contest results will affect the upcoming school year, Cole-Velasquez said: “Our numbers are going to be higher this year. The board of regents approved a 75 percent reduction in our tuition for New Mexico residents. New Mexico State University just announced that they are going up 6 percent. All the other colleges in New Mexico raised their tuition and we lowered ours by 75 percent. Even the governor’s office, the state wants to know, ‘How did you do this?’
Cole-Velasquez said raising tuition for international students compensates for the in-state tuition reductions.
“A $35,000 education for New Mexico residents could be as low as $5,874; returning students could be as low as $3,500. The fact that we have now been voted ‘Most Beautiful Military school in America’ will also be reflecting tuition.
“They (the students) do have to pass entrance exams, which is not the easiest, especially with the education that kids here in New Mexico are getting. A lot of them have trouble passing it.”
To prepare for the test, Cole-Velasquez suggests to practice the Compass test online.
“We are having an open house April 22,” she said. “That might be a great opportunity for people to look into the school’s tuition program.”
The NMMI curriculum also captured attention worldwide. Representatives from Dubai and United Emirates are planning to copy the model for its military school.
For more information, visit
Christina Stock may be contacted at 575-622-7710, ext. 309, or at

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