Behind NMT’s innovative research lie hundreds of graduate students dedicated to scientific research and innovation under underpaid conditions. According to the NMT Financial Aid website, the monthly cost of attending NMT and living in Socorro is $1,490 per month. Meanwhile, the starting Teaching Assistantship for graduate students is only $1,050 per month.

But the cost of living is not the only problem NMT graduate students face. Because of the way NMT graduate students’ tuition and salaries are structured, graduate students need to pay taxes on their tuition money. Thus, in the eyes of the federal government graduate students make “too much” to qualify for a decent subsidized health plan, but not enough, in reality, to actually pay for insurance.

Our graduate students are the backbone of scientific research. The value they bring to the institution should at least match a living wage

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon