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 Introduces A Strong Free College Program, Will More States Follow?

      Mar 8, 2022 | In the News

      Source: Forbes

      Free college proposals are stalled out at the federal level, with it seeming increasingly unlikely that a federal free college program will get passed before the midterms. The states are still working to introduce new promise programs to support students. With students and families struggling with the high price of college, finding ways to make college more affordable is essential for students and families around the country.

      State-level promise programs are one way to reduce the price of college for students. Promise programs are one name for free college. The programs come in various forms. But at their core, they promise students that their tuition and fees will be covered by grant money. There are significant differences in how such programs can be designed, with the most important distinction being whether they are set up to be a first dollar or last dollar program.

      First dollar versus last dollar free college programs

      First dollar programs cover tuition and fees upfront, allowing students to use the federal Pell Grant and any state grants they receive to pay for books, housing, transportation, and other expenses. Last dollar programs promise to top up students’ financial aid if federal and state grants do not cover all their tuition and fees. Last dollar programs are less expensive and thus more common.

      First dollar programs provide more support to students from low-income households. Students with the lowest personal and family incomes are the most likely to receive already federal and state grants that would cover tuition and fees, leaving no room for a last-dollar promise program to add to their financial aid.

      More states are introducing free college programs

      New Mexico is the latest state to introduce a free college plan and has taken the brave step of making it a first-dollar program – meaning students can stack federal and state grants on top of free tuition and fees to help cover their basic needs. The Governor’s office estimates that the plan will support more than half of the undergraduate students in New Mexico.

      With over twenty states now providing some form of promise program and more actively considering starting them, other states will be looking to see how successful – and expensive – New Mexico’s program turns out to be.

      Will New Mexico’s free college program provide an example for other first-dollar programs?

      New Mexico’s Opportunity Scholarship is one of the most generous and wide-reaching promise programs in the country so far. The scholarship is open to graduating high school students and older students entering higher education later in life. Additionally, the scholarship is available to part-time students as well as full-time and can be used for career training certificates, as well as for associate and bachelor’s degree programs. Many free college programs limit eligibility to recent high school graduates and full-time students.

      Dr. Michelle Miller-Adams, an expert on free college programs, responding to questions via direct message, said that it was good to see the first-dollar program as a model for other states, but that she was less sure it would encourage other states to adopt similar approaches, noting that “New Mexico is unique in that its student population is small and there are already substantial resources committed to scholarships, so the lift was not as heavy is it would be elsewhere.”

      With college enrollment still in decline, free college programs are one way to communicate to students, especially students who might not think they can afford college, that it is financially possible to attend college. Recent research from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that when students believe they and their families can afford to pay for college, they are more likely to enroll.

      Federal state partnerships would create stronger, longer-lasting free college programs

      State-led innovation in promise programs is an excellent first step in making college more affordable for students. Combining these first steps with a federal program would be much more powerful. States tend to cut higher education spending when revenues decline, making promise programs vulnerable to changes in state finances. Federal funds do not decline during lean years in the same and can help smooth over the economic rough patches for the states. Combined state and federal programs are likely to be more resilient and longer-lasting.