SANTA FE, N.M. — About 26,000 New Mexico college students get tuition help through the legislative lottery scholarship every year, but only those who started college shortly after high school are eligible.
Now a state lawmaker is pitching a program that could help older and other nontraditional students.
Sen. Bill Tallman, D-Albuquerque, has introduced the “New Mexico Reconnect Scholarship Act,” which would cover community college tuition and fees for certain residents. That includes students who are at least 24 years old, married, veterans, active military and those with legal dependents. They must have adjusted gross incomes below $36,000 and cannot already have an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Tallman said it could help an estimated 5,000 students statewide. It would serve only to close gaps left after counting a student’s other financial aid sources. His bill seeks $5.8 million from the general fund to cover the program in the fiscal year that starts July 1.