NMSU will guarantee 60% of the tuition payment from the Lottery Scholarship to eligible student accounts for the Spring 2014 semester. These funds will be reflected in your registration document and on your myNMSU account as soon as possible.
After policy decisions have been made at the state level and spring Lottery Scholarship funding is finalized, eligible student accounts will be credited with any additional approved Lottery funds. Special accommodations have been made to waive payment plan fees prior to this time. Any remaining balances on your student account will become your responsibility. At this time, our best estimate for disbursement of the additional lottery payment, if it occurs, is mid-March.
Since Legislative Lottery Scholarships were first awarded in 1996, over 82,000 students have attended New Mexico public higher educational institutions with the help of those scholarships, and more than 38,000 students are Lottery Scholarship graduates. Since 1996, approximately $582 million in lottery profits have been used to fund this scholarship.
In fiscal year 2008, expenditures and revenue to the Legislative Lottery Fund were about equal. Since that time, the fund continued to pay 100% of college tuition by using Lottery profits from previous years. Starting Spring 2014, the fund will have exhausted past profits and will only have incoming revenue to commit to the scholarship fund.
Due to the demand for the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship, the New Mexico Higher Education Department, the State Legislature, and other policy makers are currently re-evaluating the amount of the scholarship for the future. Although it is possible the scholarship will not cover the entire cost of tuition as soon as the Spring 2014 semester, it will still pay a portion of tuition.
We anticipate that the shortfall in the scholarship will be handled in one of two ways:
- The New Mexico Higher Education Department has the authority to change the amount of the scholarship. They can set the scholarship to cover a portion of tuition based on expected demand and revenue from the New Mexico Lottery. The statute outlining this authority can be viewed here.
- Policy makers can modify the scholarship during the 2014 Legislative Session. During the 2013 Legislative Session, proposals for changes to the scholarship were debated but did not pass. Proposed changes included rewarding high performance on the part of students, reducing eligibility from eight semesters to seven, and reducing the amount of tuition paid. Since the Legislature will not convene until January, we do not expect a Legislative solution until mid-March.