Home News Local News NMMI regents vote for price increases, scholarship transfer

NMMI regents vote for price increases, scholarship transfer

New Mexico Military Institute always intended, once litigation began, for money raised by a separate alumni association to end up with the NMMI foundation, says Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle, president and superintendent. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The cost of attending New Mexico Military Institute will increase a few percentage points for some students next academic year, following a vote to approve new tuition and fee rates during a Thursday Board of Regents meeting.

The regents also approved the transfer of about $5.7 million in scholarship funds to the school’s foundation, an action taken following an October appellate court decision confirming a lower court ruling that the school had rights to funds raised by a formerly affiliated alumni association.

Col. Judy Scharmer, chief financial officer, told regents that staff recommended keeping tuition the same for North American students for the 2019-2020 academic year, but increasing it for international students outside of Canada and Mexico by $367 a year, a 3 percent increase.

“I have analyzed all the proposed tuition and fees in regard to the upcoming year and also next year’s anticipated enrollment and next year’s expenses to make sure that our tuition and fees are such that we meet all our financial needs,” she said.

Institute administrators also asked for several fee increases. Those include “fixed” fees, up by $108 a year; board, or meal, fees, increasing by $300; the refund insurance fee, which applies to the international programs, up $10; the mandatory laptop fee, increasing by $50; and the matriculation fee, up by $95.

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Regents unanimously approved the increase requests at the meeting. As a result, North American and New Mexican students will pay $553, or 4.3 percent, more than this year. International students will pay about 4.3 percent, or $930 more.

Scharmer told regents that, even with the fee and tuition increases, NMMI remains one of the least expensive military junior colleges or New Mexico boarding school options available to students. Total annual attendance costs, including uniforms, will now be $14,823 for people who qualify for in-state rates. But she said that rate also can be lowered or even eliminated by scholarships so that many New Mexico students can attend for free if they meet admission criteria.

The regents also approved the transfer of about $5.7 million in alumni trust funds to the New Mexico Military Institute Foundation Inc., a separately governed nonprofit that exists solely to provide financial support for the Institute.

The money comes from about $4.8 million that was raised by the former New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Association, which operated as a separate nonprofit starting in 1993. The Institute and the association became embroiled in litigation starting in June 2013, and, as a result of a 5th Judicial District Court ruling in 2014, the Institution’s decision to end its relationship with the association was ruled legal and the association was ordered to relinquish to the school all funds raised for scholarships.

An October 2018 decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld the district court decision. The association, renamed the Institute Alumni Association, announced soon afterward that it would not file another appeal and intended to disband.

“It was always our intention it (the alumni trust funds) would go there originally and the foundation wanted all of it to be over before they would accept that,” said Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle, NMMI president and superintendent. “Now that this is over, we will move it over to them.”

Since the Institute first began managing the funds in May 2016, the money, which consists of about 62 scholarships, has grown to about $5.7 million, Scharmer said.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.