Reach Higher New Mexico

Let's get started!

The process is pretty simple. Answer the questions below and we will direct you to the scholarship that is right for you!

Question 1 of 7 Are you a New Mexico resident?
Question 2 of 7 In the last 16 months, have you graduated from a NM High School, attained an High School equivalency (HSE), or been honorably discharged from the military?
Question 3 of 7 Do you plan to attend full-time?
Question 4 of 7 Will you be pursuing a training certificate, associate degree, or a bachelor's degree?
Question 5 of 7 Have you previously received a bachelor's degree?
Question 6 of 7 Are you planning to enroll in a New Mexico public college or university?
Question 7 of 7 Did you previously attend college but did not complete or have you lost your eligibility for the Lottery Scholarship?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship or Lottery Scholarship for the following reasons:

  • You have not established residency in New Mexico or
  • You have previously received a bachelor's degree or
  • You are not planning to enroll in a New Mexico public college or university.
lot
opp

Congratulations, it looks like you are eligible for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship!

The New Mexico Lottery Scholarship pays full tuition for eligible students who enroll full-time in a two-year or four-year degree program at a New Mexico public college or university.

How can I get started?

There is no separate application for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

Step 1: Apply
Apply to a participating New Mexico public college or university. Click herefor a complete list and to apply!

Step 2: Complete your FASFA
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what other grants or scholarships you may also qualify for. Click
here to apply!

Step 3: Enroll
Enroll at the participating college of your choice and register full-time (12 credit hours at community colleges, 15 hours at four-year colleges and universities). Applications can be found here

Still have questions? We are here to help! Click or call:

New Mexico Higher Education DepartmentFinancial Aid Divisionfin.aid@state.nm.us1-800-279-9777

    Rays

    Congratulations, it looks like you are eligible for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship!

    The New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship pays full tuition and fees for eligible students who enroll part time or full time in a career training certificate, associate, or bachelor's degree program at a New Mexico public college or university.

    How can I get started?

    There is no separate application for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

    Step 1: Apply
    Apply to a participating New Mexico public college or university. Click here for a complete list and to apply!

    Step 2: Complete your FASFA
    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what other grants or scholarships you may also qualify for. Click
    here to apply!

    Step 3: Enroll
    Enroll at the participating college of your choice and register for at least six credit hours. Applications can be found here

    Still have questions? We are here to help! Click or call:

    New Mexico Higher Education DepartmentFinancial Aid Divisionfin.aid@state.nm.us1-800-279-9777

      Reach Higher New Mexico

      Introducing tuition-FREE higher education for every New Mexican.

      With the New Mexico Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships, there are options for every New Mexican to pursue higher education without having to worry about the cost of tuition and fees.

      Introducing tuition-FREE higher education for every New Mexican.

      With the New Mexico Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships, there are options for every New Mexican to pursue higher education without having to worry about the cost of tuition and fees.

      What is FREE higher education?

      With the New Mexico Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships, there are options for New Mexico residents of all ages to pursue college and career training tuition-free.

      Overview of Tuition-Free Higher Education

      N

      Full Tuition & Fees are covered

      Scholarship funds will cover the full tuition and fees at New Mexico public colleges and universities.

      N

      Part-Time & Full-Time Students

      Students must plan to enroll in at least 6 credit hours in order to obtain the scholarship.

      N

      Career Training Certificates, Associate Degrees, Bachelor's Degrees

      Scholarships will support students pursuing credit-bearing career training certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees

      N

      Available to all New Mexico Residents

      Scholarships are available if you are an established New Mexico resident*.

      (*Per residency standards set by the New Mexico Higher Education Department.)

      “For over a quarter of a century, New Mexico has been a national leader in providing free college to its residents. A fully funded Opportunity Scholarship opens the door for every New Mexican to reach higher, strengthening our economy, our families and our communities. Signing this legislation sends a clear message to New Mexicans that we believe in them and the contributions they will make for their families and the future of our great state.” – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

      How it Works

      There is no separate application for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship or New Mexico Lottery Scholarship, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

      Step 1: Apply

      Apply to a participating New Mexico public college or university. Click here for a complete list and to apply!

      Step 2: Complete Your FAFSA

      Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what other grants or scholarships you may also qualify for. Click here to apply!

      Step 3: Enroll

      Enroll in a participating college of your choice and register part time or full time. Click here to get in touch with a financial aid office!

      How does it work?

      The process is pretty simple. Apply, Fill out your FASFA, and enroll.

      Step 1: Apply

      Apply to a New Mexico public college or university in New Mexico.

      Step 2: Complete the FASFA

      Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and contact the financial aid office at your college or university of interest to learn more about scholarships. Click here to get started.

      Step 3: Enroll

      Enroll in the New Mexico public college or university of your choice and register for classes.

      Participating Schools

      You may plan to enroll in a public college or university in NM toward a training certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.

      Participating Schools

      You may plan to enroll in a public college or university in NM toward a training certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.

      Participating Schools

      You may plan to enroll in a public college or university in New Mexico toward a training certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Tuition-free college promotes access to higher education programs, limits or eliminates student loan debt, and promotes economic prosperity. Here is some helpful information on tuition-free college in New Mexico.

      I heard I may qualify to attend college tuition free, but I don’t know where to start. What should I do first?

      With the New Mexico Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships, there are options for New Mexico residents of all ages to pursue college and career training tuition-free. After reviewing the eligibility criteria, your first step is to apply to a New Mexico public college and university and enroll in at least six credit hours toward a credit-bearing career training certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree. You should also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible to see if you are eligible to receive federal grants that can help with other college costs, such as books, materials, housing, and transportation. 

      Do I Qualify for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship?

      If you are an established New Mexico resident & plan to enroll in at least 6 credit hours at a public college or university in NM toward a training certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree, you may qualify. 

      Do I qualify for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship?

      If you are a recent high school graduate from a New Mexico public or private school, or a recent honorably discharged veteran & plan to enroll within 16 months of graduating or leaving the service, you may qualify if you enroll fulltime in 12 credit hours at a community college or 15 hours at a university.

      What does the Opportunity Scholarship pay for?

      The Opportunity Scholarship can be used to cover up to 100% of tuition and required fees at any New Mexico public college or university.

      What does the Lottery Scholarship pay for?

      The Lottery Scholarship can be used to cover 100% of tuition at any New Mexico public college or university. The Opportunity Scholarship may cover a student’s required fees.

      Should I still complete my FAFSA if I am receiving the Opportunity Scholarship or Lottery Scholarship?

      Yes! If you qualify to receive federal aid such as a Pell Grant, you can put this money toward other college costs like books, housing, meal plans, transportation, etc. You can complete the FAFSA by clicking this link.

      What if I am not eligible to complete a FAFSA?

      Contact your school about their alternative financial aid application to access other scholarships you may also qualify for. 

      I am a member of a federally-recognized Tribe with presence in New Mexico, but I live out of state. Can I receive the Lottery or Opportunity Scholarship?

      Yes, members of federally-recognized Tribes that are partially or wholly present in New Mexico qualify for state scholarship programs, even if they are living outside of New Mexico. 

      Which colleges and universities can I apply to and receive the Opportunity Scholarship or the Lottery Scholarship?

      There are 29 participating two-year and four-year colleges for this program.  You can see a full list on our website by clicking here.

      I started college but did not finish. Can I use the Opportunity Scholarship to go back and finish my degree?

      Yes! If you have less than 90 credit hours on your transcript toward an associate degree or less than 160 toward a bachelor’s degree, you may qualify.

      I used to receive the Lottery Scholarship but lost it. Could I be eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship?

      If you have not yet finished your degree, you may be eligible if you enroll in at least 6 credit hours and maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA going forward.

      Reach Higher In the News!

      New Mexico Is the First State To Implement Free College Education

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      New Mexico boosts its free college program, at least for now

      Source: AP News SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Even after failing a test that set her back a semester, Maribel Rodriguez will be heading back to nursing school next spring with a generous new state scholarship that abandons eligibility criteria to help more working adults get...

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      New Mexico offers free tuition at public colleges and universities

      Source: WBUR The Biden administration recently announced that federal student loan payments will be deferred again. But what if you didn't have to worry about the ballooning price of college tuition, and you never accumulated student debt in the first place? In New...

      The US is facing an enrolment and student debt crisis. Is free tuition the answer?

      Source: Study International The US might be one of the most popular study destinations in the world among international students, but it’s currently facing a crisis at home. US universities nationwide are seeing plummeting enrolment rates, causing acute troubles in a...

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      Source: The Durango Herald Free college tuition for Native students means more educated, skilled labor landing in NM Ute Mountain Utes, Southern Utes and Navajo on reservations bordering New Mexico are eligible for free college tuition and fees in New Mexico under...

      New Mexico implements free college education statewide

      Source: The Washington Examiner New Mexico passed a law to ensure that its public university students will receive tuition free of charge, effective July 1. Residents who enroll in at least six credits can work toward their certificate, associate degree, or bachelor's...

      Free college didn’t die with federal inaction. It moved.

      Source: Higher Ed Dive Free college's momentum shifted from the federal level to state and local programs, signaling the movement's durability. How will it change institutions? When first lady Jill Biden stood before attendees at the Community College National...

      New Mexico Raises the Bar

      Source: Inside Higher ED Free community college done right. I’m a little late to this story, but it’s worth it. The state of New Mexico has announced the most comprehensive free community college program in the country. It’s better than I had dared to hope...

      Simplicity Matters For Free College

      Source: Forbes The free college movement continues to move forward even as it has been left out of the President’s budget request for 2023, much to the disappointment of advocates who want to see a robust federal-state partnership supporting access to public higher...