ALBUQUERQUE – The University of New Mexico is among 50 flagship universities seeing a large wave of applications.
A recent analysis by The Washington Post looked at dramatic increases in applications experienced by state flagship institutions between 2006 and 2016, the Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday.
The University of New Mexico tied with the University of California, Berkeley for seventh out of the 50 flagships.
Despite the 123 percent increase in applications, enrollment at University of New Mexico continues to fall.
Terry Babbitt, vice provost for enrollment and analytics, attributes the decline to a number of factors including local demographics.
Although it’s not a flagship university, Dacia Sedillo, New Mexico State University’s vice president of enrollment management, said the Las Cruces institution is also seeing an increase in interest.
Applications to New Mexico State University increased by 40 percent in that same time period study in the analysis.
Sedillo credits the increase to the internet making the application process easier, high school counselors encouraging students to continue with their education and students exploring more options than ever before.
“Where students in the past were known to be applying to two to three schools, they’re now applying to up to seven,” she said.
Although enrollment numbers have declined at the University of New Mexico, the institution is not looking to lower admission standards simply to fill enrollment gaps, said Interim President Chaouki Abdallah.
“We could accept people with (a) lower academic requirement,” he said. “The problem is they won’t succeed in the second year.”
The percentage of total applicants actually accepted at the University of New Mexico has fallen from 73.4 percent to 57.8 percent in the last decade.
The university’s yield rate, or the number of accepted students who actually enroll at the university, dropped from 59.1 percent 10 years ago to 37.8 percent.
Ideally, the university should be bringing in 45 percent of students it accepts, Babbitt said.