New Mexico Higher Education Department to review state higher education funding formula

Stephanie Montoya
Working group will examine formula for college & university operations funding

The New Mexico Higher Education Department announced that it will convene a working group this month to evaluate the state’s higher education funding formula, which determines annual funding recommendations for state appropriations to the operational budgets of the state’s public colleges and universities. 

The current formula was established in 2016 and replaced the previous input-based formula with an outcomes-based formula that funds higher education institutions based on results. While small adjustments have been made to the formula since 2016, the current effort represents the first thorough reexamination of the formula since its inception.  

“Our agency is working diligently to address the questions brought forth surrounding New Mexico’s higher education funding formula,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to identify data-informed solutions that prioritize students and allocate resources in an equitable and sustainable way.” 

“I applaud New Mexico for taking this proactive step to examine their higher education funding formula. Careful consideration of how to utilize these state resources most effectively will serve the needs of both the state and New Mexicans as more students graduate and fill current workforce needs and those that will unfold in a growing economy enabled by more graduates,” SHEEO Director Robert Anderson said. 

The outcomes-based formula considers multiple factors including student degree and certificate attainment, number of degrees and certificates awarded in Science, Engineering, Math, Technology, and Healthcare (STEM-H), total end-of-course student credit hours, the number of degrees and certificates awarded to students from at-risk populations, and other factors that are specific to the mission of each higher education sector, such as progress toward earning a degree and serving dual credit students. 

The working group will meet this month and be facilitated by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), a national organization that works with higher education leaders in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  

Other members include leadership from the New Mexico Council of University Presidents, the New Mexico Independent Community College Association, the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges, the secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration, and the director of the Legislative Finance Committee.  

The New Mexico Higher Education Department and leaders will develop a report for the funding formula. Meetings will take place virtually and be recorded for the public to view. Input will be collected from stakeholders throughout the process. 

For more information about New Mexico’s higher education funding formula, visit