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.
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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

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    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

      Source: Albuquerque Journal

      Many careers require certifications or higher education degrees. New Mexico has funding available to help achieve the training and education needed for such careers. Some refer to this as “free.” Others call it a taxpayer-funded investment and your investment in your future. Use it well.

      Opportunity Scholarship

      This program expands under Senate Bill 140 that becomes effective July 1.

      Who is eligible?

      • N.M. resident

      • High school graduate, including home-based and non-public school secondary education program or received a high school equivalency credential. Includes adults returning to school.

      • Not yet earned a baccalaureate degree.

      • Enrolled in six to 18 credit hours per fall or spring semester. Enrollment in consecutive semesters to show progress.

      • Maintains a cumulative grade point average of 2.5

      • If used for a summer semester, enrolled in three to nine credit hours

      The Opportunity Scholarship may be awarded for up to 160 credit hours or until a student completes their first bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. A student could use the scholarship to attain multiple certificates, one associate degree and one bachelor’s degree.

      A scholarship for a credit-bearing certificate may be awarded only where data indicates the certificate is in high demand by N.M. employers, as determined by the Department of Higher Education in consultation with the Workforce Solutions Department. (Healthcare, education, STEM and technical trades.) A list will be released each year.

      Students with disabilities or exceptional circumstances may petition for a waiver of the eligibility requirements.

      What is covered?

      An amount not to exceed 100% of tuition and fees after all other state financial aid has been applied.

      How long does it last?

      One semester, but it can be renewed if the student meets eligibility and is provided until the eligible student accrues 160 credit hours or graduates from a four-year post-secondary educational institution or tribal college. It covers:

      • A credit-bearing certificate or certificates

      • Up to 90 credit hours for an associate degree or the degree, whichever comes first

      • Up to 160 credit hours for a bachelor’s degree or the degree, whichever comes first

      How do I apply?

      There is no application. Work with the financial aid office at the 29 New Mexico two-year and four-year colleges in the program.

      What is not covered?

      Books, support materials, room and board or other costs related to attending school. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at fafsa.gov to see what you may qualify for. Private scholarships may help cover these expenses.

      The New Mexico Higher Education Department is promulgating rules to determine which fees will be allowable under the Opportunity Scholarship. The final rules regarding such expenses will be published by July 1.

      Who pays for it?

      Balances of the legislative endowment scholarship fund and the college affordability endowment fund shall be transferred to the Opportunity Scholarship fund. A total of $24.5 million from those funds will be available next fiscal year. General appropriations of taxpayer funds made by the Legislature shall be transferred to the Opportunity Scholarship fund.

      Lottery Scholarship

      This program was created in 1996. According to the Legislative Finance Committee, Finance Facts, Lottery and Lottery Scholarship: Revenue from the various games offered by the New Mexico Lottery Authority support tuition scholarships for most state college undergraduates from New Mexico. In the 10 years from 2010 through 2019, the authority, a quasigovernmental agency supported by lottery revenue, collected about $1.4 billion in gross revenues, with about 30% of that going to the lottery scholarship fund and slightly over half going to prize-winners. The remainder was spent on retailer commissions, administration and cost of goods sold. Since its creation in 1996, nearly 135,000 students have attended New Mexico public colleges with the help of a lottery scholarship, according to the authority, and 82,000, or 61%, have graduated.

      Who is eligible?

      • N.M. resident

      • High school graduate or received a high school equivalency credential

      • Enrolled full-time at a public post-secondary educational institution in New Mexico within 16 months of graduation or receipt of a high equivalency credential and maintain continuous full-time enrollment

      • Enrolled in and earn 15 credit hours per semester at a four-year New Mexico public university

      • Enrolled in and earn 12 credit hours per semester at a two- year New Mexico public community college

      • Maintains a 2.5 or greater cumulative grade point average

      Students with disabilities may qualify for reduced credit hour requirements and additional semesters of the scholarship.

      What is covered?

      Up to 100% of tuition (up to an undergraduate degree) for students who meet the eligibility criteria.

      How long does it last?

      Begins with the second semester of enrollment at a public postsecondary educational institution. Renewed on a per-semester basis subject to maintaining eligibility. First-semester bridge scholarships are available.

      How do I apply?

      Contact the public post-secondary educational institution’s financial aid advisor for eligibility verification – no application needed.

      For further information, visit sources identified below.

      Source: New Mexico Legislature at NMmlegis.gov, N.M. Higher Education Department at hed.state.nm.us