Sometimes it can seem like the state’s high poverty rate and lack of good-paying jobs conspire against New Mexicans. The thought crossed my mind as I began reading a 70-some-odd page report made public this week by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee.
The document, which was made available during a legislative hearing in Santa Fe, examines the cost of New Mexico’s two-dozen non-tribal colleges and universities and there’s some eye-popping information sprinkled throughout. In particular, this paragraph caught my eye:
Students at Central New Mexico Community College and New Mexico Junior College had loan default rates near or above 30 percent for at least two consecutive cohort years. Should these two institutions fail to keep their default rates below 30 percent, nearly 15 thousand students at the institutions risk losing access to approximately $37.3 million in federal financial aid.
I began wading through the report after reading an Albuquerque Journal story that hit some of the report’s highlights. As I read, I wanted to mark relevant passages so I could return to them afterward. So, I created a Document Cloud version of the report, which you can see by clicking on that link, and am highlighting passages or sections that appear relevant or just jarring.
I haven’t finished reading the entire report, but I promise I’ll keep reading and highlighting passages. You can check on my progress by returning to the link every few days. Heck, maybe you’ll come up with your own observations and questions as you read the report. Feel free to send them my way, firstname.lastname@example.org.