Governor Lujan Grisham announces proposal for free college for all New Mexicans

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a plan for free college for New Mexico residents at the 2019 New Mexico Higher Education Summit in Albuquerque. 

If signed off by state lawmakers, the Opportunity Scholarship would bridge the gap between previously received financial aid and tuition at New Mexico Public colleges and universities. The scholarship would not cover books or housing. 

“In the short term, we’ll see better enrollment, better student success,” Governor Lujan Grisham said.  “In the long run, we’ll see improved economic growth, improved outcomes for New Mexican workers and families and parents, a better trained and better compensated workforce.” 

New Mexico is the second state in the nation to provide this type of gap funding.  The first was New York with the Excelsior Scholarship, put in place in 2017 by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. 

According to the press release, Higher Education Secretary Kate O’Neill said she is thrilled with the idea of this proposed contribution. 

“This is the most exciting day in my 25-year career in New Mexico higher education,” O’Neill said. “That’s because students are the beneficiaries of this incredible proposal. Through this program, with the support of the Legislature, we are making a meaningful investment in our students.”

New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu, President John Floros and Provost Carol Parker attended the summit where the proposal was announced.

According to NMSU Associate Vice President of Communications and Marketing Justin Bannister, university leadership will have a statement on the proposal later today.

This is a developing story. The Round Up will have updates as more information becomes available.

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