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Lt. Gov. Garcia and Cabinet Secretary Garcia Sign Higher Education Tuition Reciprocity Agreement

FORT COLLINS, CO – Tuesday, May 22, 2012 – Lt. Gov. Joseph A. Garcia, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and Dr. José Z. Garcia, Cabinet Secretary New Mexico Department of Higher Education today renewed the Higher Education tuition reciprocity agreement between Colorado and New Mexico.


The tuition reciprocity agreement expands opportunities to students from Colorado and New Mexico to attend the other state’s participating institutions at resident tuition rates. The agreement expands the cap of the number of eligible students from 400 to 500 and will be in place for three years beginning July 1, 2012.


“Increasing access to institutions and programs that meet the needs of students while keeping tuition costs affordable will benefit students and families from both Colorado and New Mexico,” said Lt. Gov. Garcia. “Anything we can do in partnership with other state systems of higher education to increase college going opportunities for students is crucial in ensuring that not only Colorado, but the entire southwest region of the United States will have an educated and globally competitive workforce in the 21st century.”


The action is noteworthy as it further expands the number of slots in anticipation of increased participation of Colorado students attending public institutions in New Mexico and increased participation of New Mexico students particularly at Adams State University, Colorado State University – Pueblo, and Trinidad State Junior College.


Colorado law allows the state to enter into reciprocal agreements with any contiguous state and limits the participation of Colorado institutions based on the application of the “closest college concept.” Thus, participating Colorado institutions are those closest to the New Mexico-Colorado border and include: Adams State College, Colorado Mesa University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Fort Lewis College, Lamar Community College, Otero Junior College, Pueblo Community College, and Trinidad State Junior College.


All of New Mexico’s public colleges and universities participate in the agreement except for the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine and School of Law and the New Mexico Military Institute.


As the program is reciprocal, no state funds are exchanged between the two states. Currently, no other reciprocity agreements are in place with contiguous states other than New Mexico but the Colorado Commission on Higher Education may consider examining opportunities with other border states.