Disparities in College Enrollment

Figure 24: The percentage of minority group students and all other students enrolled in post-secondary institutions, from 2015 to 2022. 

Figure 25: This graph shows the overall enrollment trend in higher education in 2022. The majority of enrollment is under 34. Many of the older students would be non-degree or in graduate school.*

*Note that these totals only include the 24 public higher education institutions funded by the state funding formula

Data Source: NM Postsecondary Enrollment by Ethnicity – Headcount; accessible at https://hed.nm.gov/data-reports/data-reports-1/student-enrollment

How is New Mexico Doing?

Enrollment at New Mexico’s public colleges and universities decreased from 140,093 in the fall of 2014 to 121,966 in 2019. The increase in Hispanic and American Indian students ages 18-24 years toward a percentage of enrollment more reflective of the State’s ethnic population is encouraging. In 2019, among youth 18-24 years of age, Hispanic student enrollment was 46.9%

What does this mean?

New Mexico is a minority majority state, meaning that minority groups—Hispanic, Black and American Indian—have become the majority in the population (73.0% of the population ages 18-24 years in 2019). The ethnic distribution of students aged 18 to 24 closely matches the distribution of the New Mexico population for all groups except Hispanic students with a statewide percentage of 58% compared to 48% of enrollment (2019).