New Mexico students feel effects of less lottery scholarship funding

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With more than $20 million no longer going to New Mexico Lottery Scholarships, students statewide have taken a big hit. The change has also driven down the number of students getting the scholarship.

Many students at the University of New Mexico are feeling the effects of the lottery scholarship losing $20 million in funding.

“A lot of students that come here like me are really dependent on that lottery scholarship to pay for the full tuition,” said a UNM student.

Sometimes the scholarship is what determines if a student can attend the university or not.

“It’s a legislative issue and our student body are very concerned,” said Terry Babbit, the Vice Provost of Enrollment and Analytics at UNM.

He said only 60 percent of tuition is now covered under the scholarship, down from 90. What’s more, because the scholarship now covers fewer semesters, the number of students receiving it is down from about 6,000 to about 5,000.

There may be an even bigger issue with the scholarship. Out of every 10 students getting the lottery, only six graduate on time.

Babbit said some lose the scholarship to a dipping GPA or lack of credit hours, or some leave UNM altogether. It’s still better than UNM’s overall graduation rate.

“The lottery graduation rate is a little over 60 percent and without the lottery, it can be in the 30s,” said Babbit.

He said students are working to get lottery funding back up, to help keep graduation rates up.

“Our students really take the lead to advocate and try to organize information they can provide to the legislature of how important it is,” said Babbit.

He said about 20 to 25 percent of students end up losing the lottery at some point, but in rare occasions students can appeal for a one time chance to get it back.

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