ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico education officials want to encourage more high school students to apply for federal financial aid to help pay for college.
The initiative was announced Thursday, a day after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham proposed a scholarship program to bridge the gap between federal aid and state lottery-funded scholarships so more people can afford college.
If more students are awarded federal aid, that would lessen what the state would have to pick up through the proposed scholarship program.
Officials want to increase the annual statewide rate for federal financial aid applications to 80%. Currently, about 65% of New Mexico high school students apply.
New Mexico has been struggling for years to address the cost of higher education. The lottery scholarship covered full tuition for nearly two decades until demand and costs began to outpace revenues.