New Mexico Bill Would Force High School Students to Apply to College

Donkeys Around Town, New Mexico (Photo Credit: PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil)

Lots of people graduate from high school not knowing what they want to do next. Some of those folks end up in college anyway. Others join the military. Others work until they decide what they want to do.


It’s one of the first great decisions young Americans get to make.

But the nanny staters in New Mexico are considering a bill requiring high school students to apply for college, or to present an alternative plan for the future — which would then need to be approved by the government — before being allowed to graduate.

House Bill 23 is the brainchild of Republican state Representative Nate Gentry and Democratic state Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto. It requires students to apply to college or to present an alternative plan; acceptable alternatives include military service, an internship, or an apprenticeship.

The clear problem with this idiocy is the Constitution.

The lesser problems are in how misguided these intentions are. College is a terrible idea for many people — and probably for most people, considering how costs have ballooned while the value of a diploma has decreased. But some people just aren’t ready for college, or for choosing a path through technical schools. And they’re not good candidates for the military, either.

They need time to figure things out. And they have the right to do whatever they want without government oversight once they are of legal age.

But this bill seeks to make that impossible. It would requires students, many of whom are legal adults by the time they would graduate, to jump through hoops whether or not they have completed the academic coursework.


For what? What’s the big endgame?

More people seeking out college? We already have too many people choosing college based on false promises of success. Many go into massive debt to study subjects that leave them less prepared for the future than they were at 18.

The bill is reportedly a response to New Mexico’s declining enrollment numbers, according to The College Fix. In other words, the bill is an attempt to prop up the state’s colleges by force.

They’re treading on the Constitution. Whether nudging people into college, technical school, or the military ends up working out well for some is irrelevant. There is no freedom if you aren’t free to make decisions without government approval.

Bills like these need to be crushed and ridiculed by the people. Legislators who believe such power is in their hands do not understand the law and must be voted out.


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