SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – In a plan to expand the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, the governor has introduced legislation that would deliver tuition-free higher education to every New Mexican. Senate Bill 140, the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship Act, would provide $85.5 million toward the Opportunity Scholarship in what would be the most accessible state-funded scholarship program in the country.
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According to a news release from the Office of the Governor, up to 35,000 New Mexico students that are enrolled at a public college or university in the fall of 2022 would attend tuition-free. The Office of the Governor reports that the legislation would also merge four existing state scholarship funds into a single one which would allow colleges and universities to award one full scholarship to cover full tuition and fees for students that are eligible.
SB 140 would make it easier for colleges to award scholarships by combining the pre-existing funds for the Opportunity, Lottery, College Affordability, and Legislative Endowment scholarship programs into one, non-reversing fund.
The Opportunity Scholarship covers full tuition and fees for residents of all ages who are working towards a certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees either part-time or full-time at any New Mexico Public or Tribal college or university. In order to qualify for the Opportunity Scholarship, students need to be New Mexico residents and maintain a 2.5 GPA while enrolled in college.
Additional information on SB 140 can be found at freecollegenm.org.