Higher Education

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The smart just keep getting smarter.

New Mexico has one of the highest concentrations of PhD’s in the country. And among people age 25+ living in Albuquerque, 32 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree — well over the national average of 27 percent.

So what’s responsible for all this braininess?

It’s partly due to the presence of national laboratories, such as Sandia and Los Alamos, and the companies that have emerged to work with them. Albuquerque is also home to a number of colleges and universities, the largest of which is the main campus of the University of New Mexico (UNM). More than 26,000 students attend UNM. It has major schools in engineering, education, business, medicine, law and in film and digital media. It offers more than 130 undergraduate degrees, as well as master’s degrees in 94 fields and doctoral degrees in 44 areas.

Then there’s Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), which provides occupational and technical education as well as traditional associate degrees. With nearly 23,000 students and some of the country’s most innovative programs in advanced manufacturing, microelectronics and microsystems technologies, CNM powerfully supports local industry.

But Albuquerque has more than solid educational institutions. It has a culture that values and nurtures higher education. For example, any New Mexico high school student who graduates with a 2.5 GPA is eligible to attend a state college or university, tuition-free.

You could say it’s a place that puts its money where its noodle is.