An educated workforce is essential to the economic growth New Mexico desires, yet the state lags behind our neighbors in the percentage of college graduates per capita. For many New Mexicans, the prohibitive costs keeps college out of reach.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has proposed removing the barrier by making college essentially free to eligible New Mexico residents. Her proposed New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship would contribute toward expenses for tuition and fees at any of the state's 29 public institutions of higher education, providing up to four years of college for recent high school graduates and two years of college for returing adults.
The New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship was intended to provide free college for New Mexico high school graduates, but over time eroding lottery revenues reduced the payout; today it covers 60-75 percent of those costs.
The New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship encourages students to apply for federal student aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Opportunity Scholarship would impact an estimated 55,000 New Mexico students in the fall 2020 semester and all of the state’s 29 public institutions of higher education, which would see higher enrollment.
What does this program entail?
How does it work for recent graduates?
How does it work for adults interested in returning to higher education?
Has this been done before?
How will this program be paid for? What are the costs?
How many students will this provide for?
What does this mean for each institution?
Which students are eligible?
Is it sustainable?
How does this scholarship relate to the Lottery Scholarship and the College Affordability Scholarship?
How do future students enroll or become eligible?
Can current students become retroactively eligible?