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Panel considers college scholarship changes

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A legislative panel is considering possible changes to a lottery-financed college scholarship program so that awards aren’t tied to tuition.

Legislative Finance Committee Chairman Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela outlined the proposal Tuesday during a hearing on the scholarship program, which faces a shortfall because lottery revenue isn’t keeping pace with rising scholarship costs.

A proposal by committee staff would cap scholarship amounts depending on where a student attends college, such as $800 a semester at a two-year school and $2,100 a semester at a research university.

Another possible change would increase the minimum grade point average for students to qualify for a scholarship, which currently covers 100 percent of tuition.

The committee will decide later what changes to recommend to the Legislature, which meets in January.

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