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NM lottery scholarship to fund full cost of tuition in 2021-22

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s lottery scholarship program in the next academic year will cover full tuition for eligible in-state students at public and tribal colleges and universities for the first time since 2015, the state Higher Education Department announced.

The scholarship will be funded at $63.5 million in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, a 30% increase, with the additional money coming from several sources, officials said Thursday.

The scholarship paid full tuition for eligible students from 1996 to 2015 before it was reduced to levels as low as 60% due to circumstances that included rising tuition rates.

For the coming year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appropriated $15.5 million to shore up the scholarship, while $37 million will come from projected lottery ticket sales. The rest of the money will be carried over from last year, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“This is what is needed at the tail end of a pandemic,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said.

Officials are discussing ways to keep the scholarship at the 100% mark beyond next year, Rodriguez said.