New Mexico colleges seek extension to scholarship funding

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico public university presidents are urging the Legislature to extend extra funding from liquor taxes to a popular scholarship paid for mainly by state lottery proceeds.

Supplementary scholarship funds from liquor taxes help New Mexico offset 90 percent of in-state tuition for more than 30,000 public university and college students. Scholarships would fall to 60 percent if the extra funding is allowed to expire in June.

New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers on Tuesday urged lawmakers to provide a one-year extension of the extra funding while a task force develops a long-term solvency plan for lottery scholarships.

Carruthers says the state may want to increase scholarship awards each year as students advance to provide an incentive and improve graduation rates. He said the idea was proposed by students.

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