SANTA FE—Tonight, the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 270, Rep. Jim Smith’s (R-Sandia Park) proposal to decouple lottery scholarship awards from tuition rates. HB 270 is co-sponsored by Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington).
Currently, lottery scholarships cover a percentage of tuition based on the average tuition rates charged by each type of higher education institution: research university, comprehensive institution, or community college. This year, lottery scholarship awards covered 60% of student tuition costs.
HB 270 no longer links scholarship awards to tuition rates and instead sets a fixed amount for the scholarships. Linking the scholarships to tuition rates causes uncertainty about the amount of assistance students can expect to receive each year. By establishing set award amounts, students and families can better plan and prepare for their anticipated higher education expenses.
“Developing a plan to meet college expenses can be stressful for students as well as their parents,” said Rep. Smith. “Establishing a fixed amount for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship awards will give students more certainty about the money they can expect to receive while they are pursuing their degrees. This idea makes sense for students and their families, and I hope the Senate will move quickly on this bill.”
HB 270 now moves to the Senate for consideration.