Concerned about Graduation Rate

Hi all. My son was accepted to UNM with the Amigo Scholarship. We have not visited yet, but I am concerned about the very low graduation rate. He will be a pych major, so any insight on the psych dept is also appreciated. Thanks!

My DC is not applying to that school but I too look at those rates and wonder if it means that students do a few years and then transfer out or does it mean that the school has difficulty retaining students. What I think about is that the school must not have the supports in place to retain the students (which could be totally wrong). Are there mental health services, Are the professors available for office hours, is there tutoring? In choosing safeties for my child my thinking is that my child will just be one of few that actually graduate.

@greenmama. I’m tagging @WayOutWestMom and @DiotimaDM who both have posted a lot about this school. DiotimaDM has a son who is studying there and has posted about his experiences.

In general, public universities in less wealthy states often have lower four-year graduation rates because many students have to work to put themselves through school. They may have to take a semester off once in a while to save money or they might take fewer courses per semester to balance work and studies. These students might take 5-6 years to graduate instead of the traditional 4.

You might want to call the school with your questions and/or to ask about the availability of the kinds of support services that @sarrip mentions. Will you be able to visit the campus?
I assume that OP is referring to graduating, period, as the 6 yr grad rates don’t offer any great reassurance. They don’t cite 8 yr rates but the sliders are nifty.
At 16K off a COA of 36K, it is a serious consideration to weigh up. You are still paying 20K a year. What are the other options? Instate commutable? What are the stats of the student? Amgio is pretty broad, 23 ACT (1130 SAT) and 3.5 GPA would for me, be a commuter or CC kid.


UNM has a large contingent of low income students due to the state’s generous in-state scholarship funding. (The largest percentage of low income/Pell eligible and first gen students of any state flagship in the US.) In NM, any student who graduates from a NM high school with a 2.5 or higher GPA is eligible to receive free tuition for 8 semesters of college.

Because the state’s scholarship doesn’t cover room & board, books, transportation or other miscellaneous costs, these low income/first gen students often drop out due to lack of funds or drop to part-time so they can work and pay for their living expenses.

Also due the diverse and rural nature of the state (and the poor quality K-12 education in some rural school districts), some UNM freshmen come to college unprepared for the rigors of college work. 30% of freshmen require remedial math, remedial writing skills or both before they can begin actual college-level classes. These students are at high risk of dropping out and many do.

Students who have adequate college prep and have family financial support for college do just fine at UNM and graduate on time.

If have any specific questions about UNM coursework/ competitiveness of its student body, please feel free to PM me. My daughters graduated from UNM and many of my neighbors children have as well.

The 6 year graduation rate was just 49% in 2018.

The Pell recipient graduation rate was close at 45%.

Yes. Counseling is available for free for all enrolled students. If psychiatric care is needed there is sliding scale psychiatric clinic at UNM Hospital, which is directly across Lomas Blvd from UNM’s main campus

Yes, every UNM professor is required to maintain office hours. My daughters have never had an issue being able to reach a professor to ask questions.

Yes, Center for Academic Program Support is an award-winning tutoring service available for free to every UNM student. CAPS offer tutoring in over different 800 classes every year. Tutoring is available both in-person and on line. There are both individual and group tutoring & workshop sessions.

My older daughter was a CAPS tutor (math, physics, chemistry and acoustics) for 2 years. CAPS peer tutors receive special training and are constantly evaluated for professionalism and effectiveness.

@WayOutWestMom: Any thoughts about safety in the area around the campus ?

Area immediately around campus is safe & mostly residential. There are a few bars in campus town where rowdy fist fights have broken out after last call.

Central Ave on the south edge of campus is one of major streets crossing ABQ so there is traffic day & night.

UNM is an urban campus with no barriers between it and the local community. Car break-ins happen on campus occasionally, as do thefts of unattended personal property or from dorm rooms left unlocked. There may be homeless individuals lingering/ panhandling just off campus and if you’re cruising for a hooker you can go about 2 miles west on Central and find one.

The campus itself is safe and students walk around campus at all hours of the night. There is a escort service available for students who feel uncomfortable walking alone on campus at night. The campus is well lighted and has emergency call boxes located all around campus.

Both my daughters attended med school at UNM. The UNM med campus & hospital is immediately north of main campus. They came & went at all hours of the night without any issues. In fact, one of D2’s female friends used to WALK home (several blocks) from the hospital in the middle of the night. She never had a problem.

I occasionally attend performances and lectures on UNM’s campus at night and have in the past taken night classes on the UNM campus. I frequently go to dinner at restaurants in the Nob Hill/campustown area. I have never felt in danger/at risk of violence.

There is a snazzy newish private dorm located well off campus and close to UNM’s basketball arena and football stadium that has some serious problems with drug dealing and fights–but it’s a privately owned dorm and UNM doesn’t manage or police it. It has terrible reputation and I strongly recommend against living there.

There are some very bad areas in ABQ where one shouldn’t go unless you know where you’re going and have a VERY good reason to be there, but that’s true of any large city.

So long as a student uses appropriate situational awareness and doesn’t do something dumb–like doing a drug buy at 3 am in the Frontier (an all night restaurant favored by local cops)–they should be fine.

What is the snazzy newish bad plan private dorm? Trying to get as much info as possible before our visit next month!

Casas del Rio and Lobo Village are private partnership dorms. Lobo Rainforest is the newest dorm.

Lobo Village on Avenida Cesar Chavez. Avoid it.

Casas del Rio is fine.

The Daily Lobo (UNM’s student newspaper) publishes a weekly campus crime report if you’re interested in taking a look. Incidents involving UNM students living in the private dorms are included.