Board approves nonresident tuition waiver, grant

By Lauren Ebben and Caylee Hanna, Staff Reporters

At the Amarillo College board of regents meeting on April 28, college officials approved a waiver for students living in New Mexico to attend AC on in-state tuition.

Bob Austin, vice president of enrollment management said the main reason for this waiver was to put the college on “equal footing” with institutions in New Mexico.

“We know that, for instance, Bovina and Farewell, which are part of our service area, qualify to pay in-state tuition to Clovis Community College. Students in this area also qualify to pay in-state tuition at Eastern New Mexico University,” he said. “We’re not talking about a lot of students right now but we’d like to be a little bit more aggressive if we could about reaching out to New Mexico students.”

Eastern New Mexico University had no reservations about the waiver, according to Austin.

“They consider us a partner,” he said, “They know there is a good chance that students from New Mexico who start at AC will transfer back and finish their bachelor’s degree at ENMU.”

This waiver complies with Texas Education Code 54.531 (g), which allows a resident in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas to register for a college or university in Texas without having to pay an out-of-state tuition fee.

The board also voted to enter into a contract with the Texas Association of Community Colleges Texas Success Center for a grant that will focus on adult education at AC. This grant, totalling $125,000, will be used to complete required deliverables for the Texas Peer Mentor Network, a 13-member community college network focused on increasing the college transition rates of adult learners seeking to increase their skills for the labor market.

Funded by the Texas Workforce Commission, this grant will help integrate the federal adult education program at Amarillo College, according to Dr. Tamara Clunis, vice president of academic affairs.

“This contract will allow us to leverage their network, especially trying to communicate adult education integration benefits and provide technical assistance,” she said. 

The contract is a non-competitive renewal contract and is valid through June 2021.

The board also approved to renew an annual contract with Moore County to assess and collect maintenance property taxes in the county for the operation of the Moore County campus. This tax is $0.32 a parcel. Financial reports for the college were also discussed.

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