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

      New Mexico to Fund Free College for More Students This Fall | New Mexico News | US News

      Feb 18, 2022 | In the News

      Source: U.S. News

      SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is expected to expand one of the country’s most generous free college programs for nearly all adults.

      This week Democratic majorities in the Legislature approved one-time funding of $75 million for a year-long program intended to help residents return to college if they couldn’t finish in the past, start even if they’ve been out of high school for a while, and have more help covering costs of school like fees and living expenses in addition to tuition.

      If New Mexico can afford to keep paying for the program after the first year, people would be able to move to the state, establish residency, and get a free degree.

      New Mexico’s Lottery Scholarships already offer free tuition to two and four-year colleges for residents who are also recent graduates of local high schools, but only if they can pay for their first semester and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

      The new funding, stacked on top of state and federal subsidies, would cover that first semester for Lottery Scholarship recipients as well as expand the Opportunity Scholarship program, which began as a small pilot project during the pandemic to pay for more than just tuition.

      Supporters of expanding the Opportunity Scholarship say it’s the most generous program in the country, with the widest eligibility.

      It’s estimated to be able to fund up to 35,000 students to pursue two and four-year degrees, as well as college certificates in high-demand areas like nursing, computer science and construction. Tuition and fees will be covered, even if they’re only studying part-time. And for those who qualify for federal aid, the money can go straight to students to cover living expenses.

      THE PERKS

      Around 20 states in the U.S. cover the cost of college tuition, but that doesn’t make it free. Fees, books, housing and food usually add to what families have to pay to send their kids to college, or the debt they have to take out. New Mexico is the first to help pay for those other costs of college, and is also the first to fund certificate programs.

      The program also funds living expenses for students with financial need, albeit indirectly, and only for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

      The Opportunity Scholarship grants kick in before federal awards, allowing them to flow directly to the students and further reduce college debt. With tuition and fees covered, federal awards of between $500 and $6,000 per year can go toward the cost of books, rent and food.

      ELIGIBILITY

      The law is intended to help residents who didn’t go to college right after high school, didn’t finish their degrees, or can’t access grants due to the typical requirement of attending full time.

      While federal aid is restricted to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, New Mexico’s college subsidy programs are open to all residents, including foreigners on temporary visas and those in the country without legal permission.

      Pretty much any adult who has lived in the state for 12 months and wants to earn college credits will be eligible for the new program, as long as they don’t already have a bachelor’s degree.

      Both major scholarship programs require students to maintain a 2.5 grade point average, with some exceptions to make up classes or due to family or medical hardship.

      FUNDING

      Anyone thinking about moving to New Mexico for the college perks should know that the Legislature only approved funding for the program for one year, starting in July.

      Even lawmakers who voted to support the scholarship have expressed concerns about its funding sustainability because $52 million comes from one-time federal pandemic relief.

      If oil prices drop before the Legislature meets again in January or if the political winds shift following the midterm elections in November the Opportunity Scholarship could be eliminated or scaled back.

      Those who voted against the program pointed out that broad eligibility has made similar programs expensive and often unsustainable.

      New Mexico’s Lottery Scholarship for local high school graduates offered free tuition between 1996 and 2016, but it’s been touch and go since then, with the state adjusting benefits each year based on state budgets that fluctuate with oil and gas prices.

      The Lottery Scholarship is fully funded for the next four years, according to state higher education officials. For the Opportunity Scholarship, there’s no guarantee, though at least some of the funding is recurring.