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Students unaware of housing costs

Some students are not aware of the housing costs at New Mexico State University. We asked students about the current housing prices on campus. We also asked them whether they thought on-campus living was better than off-campus living. None of the students who were asked knew how much it costs to live on campus, including on-campus residents.

Chamisa Village, pictured above, is one of many NMSU on-campus residence communities. (Photo courtesy of NMSU)

Jaikub Montero, a freshman living on campus, said: “I don’t know what I pay. All I know is that as a freshman I am required to stay in the dorms.” The NMSU housing department website indicates the cost for on-campus living for freshmen starts at about $4,000 per academic year (or about $450 per month) for a double-occupancy room, and includes water, electricity, cable and internet. When this was mentioned to him, Montero said he would still rather live on campus.

Alexander Morgan, another freshman said: “All I know is that financial aid covers my housing cost and that I am required to get a meal plan as a freshman.” It is true that financial aid does cover housing, however, it will not cover food in all cases according to the housing website. The cost of both room and board combined at NMSU starts at roughly $7,800 per year for freshmen, or about $870 per month. When the cost of living was mentioned to him, Morgan still indicated he preferred living on campus because everything he needed is “just right there.”

Some students living off campus also did not know the cost of living on campus. Liliana Tuda lives off campus and said, “I don’t know what it costs, but off campus may be cheaper depending on where you live.” Tuda said she lives at home.

One student indicated he would rather continue commuting back and forth to El Paso on the bus once he learned how much on-campus housing costs.

According to CollegeBoard, the average cost for room and board at public, four-year universities nationwide is $10,090 per academic year, or about $1,120 per month. At UNM, for example, it’s $9,864 per academic year, or about $1,095 per month. At Arizona State it’s $12,648 per academic year, or about $1,400 per month.

As of 2017, freshmen at NMSU are required to live on campus unless they qualify for an exemption. On-campus housing ranges in price from about $4,000 to $7,000 per academic year, or about $450–$780 per month. These figures do not include meal plans. For room and board combined, the average cost is about $9,250 per academic year, or about $1,030 per month.

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