Hall: UNM-LA Is A True Treasure In Our Community

By MICHELLE HALL
UNM-LA Advisory Board

When the last time you paid 50 cents for a loaf of bread? For most of us, it was around 1980, the same year that our community voted for a 1 mil levy to launch our local college, UNM-LA. Today that same loaf of bread costs somewhere between $2-$5 depending on how fancy you get, but most people keep buying bread, because warm, fresh bread is nourishing of the body and fulfilling of our mind’s pleasure sensors. The same can be said about UNM-LA, it is chock full of warm and caring faculty who have a passion for fulfilling their students’ cravings for strengthening their minds and bodies.

UMN-LA is a true treasure and an integral part of our community. On the big scale, the need for the college has never been greater. But UNM-LA is tuned to the needs of our town. It serves our high school students preparing for a college career; it serves the continuing education goals of our populous, young and old; and it has specialized curriculum that creates professionals that support the employers of Northern New Mexico, including our medical community and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

When I arrived in Los Alamos 13 years ago, I had left academia and decided to start a small company. I was fortunate to be able to walk across town to take a short course in entrepreneurship and the basics of accounting with QuickBooks. I had all the support and expertise I needed at UNM-LA. Today, my company is thriving and contributing to the welfare of Los Alamos.

For me, the choice to support the mil levy is obvious, but some people may still ask, “what is in it for me to support UNMLA? How will I ever benefit?” Below are some examples of how UNM-LA could save you or your family much more money than the $100 tax levy (estimated for a $300,000 house) every year.

  • Your child who is attending UNM main campus was unable to fit a required course into their spring semester and now faces a delay in graduation unless he can take the course over the summer. He will have to drive to Albuquerque twice a week and will pay $745.08 plus $57.78 in fees for the course. Luckily, it is offered at UNM-LA for $237 plus $13.50 in fees. Your savings is = $552.36
  • Your high school student is required to take a dual credit course to graduate from high school. Because the course is offered as dual credit at UNM-LA it is free, a savings of $250.50. (Note: UNMLA is reimbursed by the state for just 6 percent of the cost of teaching that course.)
  • You have a highly motivated high school student who wants to graduate from college in three years. Over the course of four years in high school, she completes all the required courses for the freshman year of college at UNM-LA and then transfers to an elite school on the coast to finish in three years. Your savings is $45,876 (tuition) + $13,631 (room and board) for a total of $58,876.
  • You are finally retiring and wanting to pursue a new language now that you have the time.  When you sign up for the class, you get a pleasant surprise. As a senior citizen, if there is still space available on the first day of classes, the cost is only $5 per credit hour, a savings of $235.50.

UNM-LA is a jewel in our community, providing the highest quality education at bargain basement prices. I hope that you will join me in supporting a pillar in our wonderful town!  Vote YES on the mil levy.

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