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!

New funding expands access to higher education in New Mexico

Mar 22, 2022

Source: KOB

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – This March, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law more funding for the Opportunity Scholarship to ensure more New Mexico students would have their tuition and fees covered.

“Finances tend to be the number one item for students across the country,” explained Brian Malone, UNM’s Student Financial Aid Office Director. “Because it’s also not just going to school, it’s also still having a roof over your head, having food, things like that. You have to have your general living expenses still exist, and a lot of times you aren’t able to work or work fewer hours.”

To qualify, you have to be a New Mexico resident enrolled in at least six credit hours at a public college or university in New Mexico. The student must also maintain a 2.5 GPA and be working toward a training certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.

“It goes up to 160 credit hours for a bachelor’s degree. Generally, a student can earn about degree anywhere from 120 to 128 hours,” Malone explained. “That allows for maybe someone who had some hours some years ago and returning to school that they have a little bit of buffer and maybe they don’t complete their bachelor’s degree while on the Opportunity Scholarship.”

At UNM, you won’t have to submit another application for the Opportunity Scholarship but be sure to check with the school you’re applying to just in case. Even if you know you qualify for this state scholarship, it’s always a good idea to still apply for the FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

“The Opportunity Scholarship can help pay for tuition and fees or it can apply to all tuition and fees,” Malone said. “So if the student that applies for the FASFA, if they get a Pell Grant or if they get loans or they get other resources from the federal government that can apply to other expenses besides tuition and fees, such as room and board, transportation expenses and books and supplies.”

UNM says current students usually get a good idea of their financial aid package by March or April but the university is still looking for clarification on special circumstances from the state. UNM will directly notify students if they qualify.