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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Minority students now the majority among New Mexico State's undergraduates

New Mexico State University's undergraduate student population now has a "minority majority," according to Juan N. Franco, the university's vice president for student services.


in the numbers of Hispanic, African American and American Indian students pushed the minority enrollment to 50.9 percent of the 12,584 undergraduates at the main campus in Las Cruces, Franco said.

"We are pleased to see this growth in diversity among our students," Franco said. "One of our goals is to have a student population that closely reflects the diversity of our state's population."

He said the university also saw "healthy increases" in the numbers of minority graduate students this fall.

"This has been a challenge because major corporations compete for our minority graduates," Franco said. "We're encouraged to see more of them continuing with us as graduate students."

About 30 percent of the university's 2,640 graduate students now are minority students. When undergraduates and graduate students are combined, 47 percent of the 15,224 students at the main campus are from minority groups.

Looking at undergraduate enrollment, the number of Hispanic students at the main campus increased by 2.6 percent this semester over last fall, from 5,326 students to 5,462. That is 43 percent of the undergraduate total.

The number of African American students rose by 10.6 percent, from 339 to 375, or about 3 percent of the undergraduate total.

American Indian enrollment grew by 0.8 percent, from 373 to 376, representing about 3 percent of the undergraduate total.

The number of Asian American students decreased by 3.1 percent, from 195 to 189, or about 1.5 percent of the total.

Students in the "white/other" category, which includes students who did not indicate their ethnicity, decreased by 0.9 percent, from 6,049 to 5,997, or about 48 percent of the total.

The ethnic categories do not include international students, who account for about 1.5 percent of the undergraduate population. International undergraduate students increased by 8.2 percent, from 171 last fall to 185 this semester.

In graduate school enrollment, the number of Hispanic students increased by 19.4 percent, to 677 students or 17 percent of the graduate total. American Indian graduate students increased by 2.9 percent, to 35 students or 1.3 percent of the total. Asian American graduate students increased by 17.1 percent, to 41 students or 1.5 percent of the total. The number of African American graduate students remained steady at 44, or 1.6 percent of the total graduate enrollment.

For graduate and undergraduate students combined, the main campus enrollment breaks down this way: 40 percent Hispanic, 3 percent African American, 3 percent American Indian, 1.5 percent Asian American, 4 percent international and 49 percent white/other.