SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico would no longer consider tuition rates when setting the value of its lottery scholarship under a bill passed by the Legislature, changing a calculation process that some have alleged made it easier for schools to raise student costs.
About 26,000 college students get the Legislative Lottery Scholarship each year, with the benefit set annually as a percent of average tuition at New Mexico institutions. With demand and tuition increasing, the scholarship currently pays 60 percent of tuition. That’s down from 90 percent last year and 100 percent in the past.
But new legislation that sailed through the New Mexico House and Senate would untether the scholarship amount from tuition and instead set flat rates. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. William Soules, D-Las Cruces, said his “decoupling” bill provides more certainty.
“It doesn’t have huge ramifications for anyone, but it just makes it a whole lot clearer how much money students are going to get for it,” he said of Senate Bill 140.