ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The University of New Mexico is offering a huge opportunity for incoming freshmen.
For the upcoming fall semester, freshmen students could get their tuition paid for, but there are a few requirements. It’s called the “Lobo First-Year Promise.” It’s taking a page out of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s dream of free college but this will only apply to some students.
“This year, we can round out our world-class cradle-to-career educational philosophy with a comprehensive embrace of universal higher education: The Opportunity Scholarship,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham during the State of the State in January.
It was a huge promise, the Opportunity Scholarship was supposed to pay tuition and fees for all students at public universities in the state but at the end of the 2020 legislative session, that grand dream was watered down. It will now pay for the remaining tuition and fee balance for lottery-scholarship students at two-year programs and UNM took notice.
“We were very excited about the Opportunity Scholarship here in the state and we’re pleased its going to impact so many residents but it’s not going to be applied to four-year universities until a year from now,” said UNM’s Vice President of Enrollment, Dan Garcia.
UNM is now picking up that opportunity and has come up with its own version: the Lobo First-Year Promise. Starting this fall’s 2020 school year, the Lobo First-Year Promise would cover tuition and fees for UNM freshmen. It only applies to students whose families make less than $50,000 a year.
“I think its an important step in the right direction,” said UNM student Sall Ahmadian.
“It’s creating opportunities,” said UNM student Clinton Smith.
“I support it because I think it would take the stress off the people for them and give them an opportunity to come to college,” said UNM student Christina Gallegos.
According to UNM’s Fall 2019 attendance, there were roughly 2,500 freshmen. They expect half of their freshmen to be eligible for this ‘Promise.’
Looking at the current tuition and fees, this could cost UNM $9,445,000. The University said they’ll foot the bill from additional scholarship money from the state and federal funding as well as grants and other scholarships.
“Regardless of what the cost is, UNM has made the commitment we’re going to fund this,” said Garcia.
UNM said after the 2020-2021 academic year, they will re-evaluate this ‘Promise’ and see if they could do it again for the next year’s freshmen class. Those students who get free college at UNM will have to be enrolled full-time and maintain a minimum of 2.5 GPA.