New Mexico may become the first state in the nation to make students apply for college

High school students in New Mexico will have to already have their post-graduation plans locked down if a new bill in the state becomes law.

Story highlights

  • If measure passes, state would be first in nation to make such a requirement
  • Education policy analyst says while it may get more kids in college, there are pitfalls

(CNN)Students in New Mexico would have to apply to a college or commit to some other post-graduation plan in order to graduate from high school, under a bill working its way through the state's legislature.

If it became law, New Mexico would be the first state in the nation to require its students to spell out what they're doing after high school.
"Requiring students to do that would be unique in the nation; no other state in the nation has done that," said Jennifer Zinth, director of high school and STEM for the Education Commission of the States, an education policy think tank based in Colorado.
    The bill states that high school juniors would have to file a plan showing they're applying for admission to a college, taking steps to enter the military or preparing for an internship or apprenticeship.
    The plan would be filed with the high school principal and the student's parents and guidance counselor would have to sign off on it.
    New Mexico, at 71%, has the second-worst high school graduation rate in the country,