Attending college is an exciting endeavor. It can also be an expensive one. Gathering funds as soon as possible can alleviate mounting costs of college coursework and all the fees and extras that go along with obtaining a worthy diploma.
Students who have set their sight on attending college should begin applying for scholarships and grants as soon as possible. For high school seniors and college undergraduates who live in New Mexico, there are a slew of scholarships to apply to and offset potential student loan debt.
Colleges in New Mexico
The Cactus State is home to 17 public higher education institutions and 12 private colleges for students to get a quality education. The top-rated schools that have a high rate of students who attend on a variety of New Mexico scholarships include:
- New Mexico State University
- Carrington College
- Santa Fe University of Art and Design
- Southern Methodist University
- University of New Mexico
Aggie Achiever Scholarship
This is one of 11 merit-based scholarships that is available for state residents who plan on attending college at the New Mexico State University’s Las Cruces campus. If offered the award, it is renewable each year for $6,500 or $26,000 in total. Students have to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher to be eligible for the award all four years that they are attending an accredited school.
Candidates must hold a high school diploma from a New Mexico institution, GED or NM-HiSET. They should carry a full course load as freshmen and have a grade point average of 3.75 or higher. Students should have an SAT score of 1,310 or higher when they apply or an ACT exam score of 28 or more.
Legislative Lottery Scholarship Program
The Legislative Lottery Scholarship began in 1996 by the New Mexico Higher Education Department. It was created to help college-bound high school seniors no matter their official immigration status.
The scholarship amount is a percentage of the student’s tuition for a four-year bachelor’s degree. The limit is around $2,500 each year. To apply, candidates need to meet a few requirements, including:
- Show a diploma of excellence or GED that they earned while residing in New Mexico.
- Matriculate for 12+ credits at a junior or a senior public in-state college.
- Stay enrolled in an accredited program and maintain consecutive enrollment semester to semester.
- Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher while completing the college program.
Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship
Also through the New Mexico Higher Education Department, this scholarship is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services. It is intended to cover the tuition and fees of students who are pursuing a degree and have served in the Vietnam War.
This supportive scholarship is worth up to $4,000 for former military personnel who are looking to finish a degree they started on the undergrad or master’s level. Candidates must have lived in the state for at least a decade, be honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces and be registered at an accredited, nonprofit in-state institution. They should also show that they have received the Vietnam Campaign medal for services spanning from 1964-1975.
New Mexico Scholars Program
Tuition, fees, textbooks and other incidentals are covered by this Higher Education Department scholarship. The New Mexico Scholars Program is awarded to students who are New Mexico high school graduates who are in the top 5 percentile for academic achievement.
Scholarship candidates must have an SAT score of 1,140 or above and a minimum ACT score of 25. When applying, students will need to show financial need and prove that the annual family income is less than $60,000.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.