New Mexico is one of ten states in the country with the highest reductions in spending per student in higher education, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit research agency based in Washington, D.C. New Mexico now invests nearly a third less per student compared to 2008. As a result, more of the burden on paying for college has fallen on students. This burden is especially severe because of rising tuition rates in NM colleges and universities resulting from several years of cuts in state spending. Due to falling oil and gas revenues in the state, it is likely that further cuts may occur.
The value of higher education for students in New Mexico remains high. A recent report by the Brookings Institute ranked the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University as among the top ten research universities in the country for promoting social mobility for students.