Reach Higher New Mexico

Not sure where to begin? We can help!

To get started let's answer a few questions. Do any of these apply to you within the last 18 months?

  • I graduated from high school
  • I completed a high school equivalency credential
  • I was honorably discharged from the military

Yes No

It looks like you are considered a recent high school graduate.

The Lottery Scholarship, New Mexico’s first tuition-free college program, covers 100% of tuition for recent New Mexico high school graduates.

Click here to learn more about scholarship options for you!
Do you plan on enrolling in a for-credit certificate, two-year, or four-year program at a public college or university in New Mexico?

Yes No

New Mexico state scholarship programs can only be used at public colleges or universities in New Mexico.

New Mexico state scholarship programs can only be used toward for-credit certificate and degree programs at one of the 29 participating public colleges and universities in the state.

Click here to view participating schools.
Do any of these apply to you?
  • I have already earned a bachelor's degree
  • I have 160 credit hours or more on my transcript from previous college attendance

Yes No

The New Mexico Lottery and Opportunity Scholarships are for students who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree and who have fewer than 160 credit hours on their transcript.

However, we encourage you to explore our loan-for-service and loan repayment plans:

It looks like you are considered a returning adult student.

The Opportunity Scholarship makes it possible for you to pursue a college degree or career training certificate, even if you are starting college for the first time later in life, or going back after many years.

Click here to learn more about scholarship options for you!

Higher Education Department breaks down Opportunity Scholarship

Mar 3, 2022

Source: KRQE News

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is making history once again, all New Mexicans can go to college for free. Lawmakers approved $75-Million for the Opportunity Scholarship.

“New Mexico made history back in 1996, by being the first state in the nation to tell college students that they could go to college tuition-free,” said Stephanie Rodriguez, the Cabinet Secretary for the State’s Higher Education Department. Now the state is taking that one step further.

“We’re making history again,” said Rodriguez. “We’ve established the Opportunity Scholarship Act which is the most encompassing national tuition-free college program in our country.”

Starting in the fall the Opportunity Scholarship will allow all New Mexicans to earn a credit baring certificate, associate, or a Bachelor’s degree, tuition-free. All you have to do is earn a 2.5 GPA. This will apply on top of the State’s existing Lottery Scholarship, which only applied under certain circumstances.

The Lottery Scholarship is specifically aimed at recent high school graduates, or honorably discharged veterans. The Opportunity Scholarship is for any New Mexican regardless of age as long as you have a high school diploma or equivalent. Anyone receiving the Lottery Scholarship must be enrolled full time, but to qualify for the new opportunity scholarship, you only have to take six credit hours a semester.

“This is an opportunity for people to get that leg up,” Rodriguez said. “They can go back to school, but do it in a way that is manageable for their families, and once they’re done, enter family-sustaining careers, with high wages,” Rodriguez explained.

The Higher Education Department says people who have previously enrolled in a college program but did not complete their degree, can qualify for the Opportunity Scholarship as long as they have not yet completed more than 90 credit hours. You have to live in New Mexico for at least a year before you’re eligible.