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Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 11:30pm
Las Cruces, NM (KDBC) — If you're applying to NMSU for college, you'd better make sure you've got the grades to go because the university is considering some changes that could make it tougher to get in.
The NMSU Faculty Senate is proposing raising the minimum GPA students need to get accepted.
"That's not a problem that we raise the standards for students but what is the plan that is in place to help those students bridge the gap?" said Judy Marquez, a student at NMSU.
And that's exactly what the New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)wants to know.
On Wednesday morning, LULAC held a press conference on the NMSU campus, trying to fight the plan because they say it denies underprivileged students the chance to go to college.
"We want to help address our large drop-out rate, we want to help increase our numbers in college, at the same time, we would like to have the desirable GPA, but we have to try and work on how we can improve that. What are the causes of them not being able to?" said Pablo Martinez, the New Mexico State Director for LULAC.
NMSU's new plan would raise the GPA admissions requirement from 2.5 to 2.75 for incoming freshmen, and from 2.0 to 2.5 for transfer students.
"If this is a land-grant university, which was supposed to like serve the working class, like why would we try and keep working class students out," said Kiana Tavakoli, another student at NMSU.
"Some parents can afford to send their children to Sylvan to get those higher GPAs, to prepare for the ACT scores, some very hard working parents don't have those possibilities," said Dr. Laura Gutierrez Spencer, NMSU's Director of Chicano Studies.
NMSU didn't want to comment on the proposed GPA increase or the reasons behind it on camera but sent Local4News a statement on Wednesday.
"New Mexico State University is the state's land-grant university, and serves the educational needs of New Mexico's diverse population through comprehensive programs of education, research, extension education and public service. NMSU will always be committed to the success of each of our students, representing communities large and small across New Mexico. As part of that commitment to student success, NMSU is working to guarantee pathways for students who may not yet be prepared to attend NMSU's Las Cruces campus, encouraging them to first attend one of NMSU's community colleges to help ensure they have a successful college career.
Additionally, NMSU would like to correct the following information misrepresented during the LULAC media event:
· Three of the five members of the NMSU Board of Regents are Hispanic, including Javier Gonzales, Ike Pino and Jordan Banegas.
· New Mexico State University does not control the qualifications for students to be eligible for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship. This is handled by the state. "
LULAC argues most community college students don't end up transferring to a four year university, which means they wouldn't ever have a shot at a four year degree.