Lottery and Opportunity Scholarships

While many community college students benefit from federal aid and private scholarships, state financial aid programs play an extremely important role in the academic success of New Mexicans. This is particularly true of the Legislative Lottery Scholarship, established in 1996, and the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, established in 2022.

Both the Legislative Lottery Scholarship and the Opportunity Scholarship require that recipients be New Mexico residents and maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA for continued eligibility.

Legislative Lottery Scholarship

The Legislative Lottery Scholarship focuses on recent high school graduates and requires full-time enrollment. The scholarship has been awarded to 1,200 students at branch community colleges. A total of $1.2 million was granted in scholarships in 2022–2023.

New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship

The New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship is open to returning adult learners and part-time enrollment students. The scholarship has been awarded to 5,800 students at branch community colleges. A total of $6.1 million was granted in scholarships in 2022–2023.


Our 2024 legislative priorities include:

$14.4 million for student support initiatives focused on student retention and graduation, such as tutoring, academic advising, student basic needs services (services), and behavioral & mental health, including suicide prevention.

Compensation increases of 6% for all and additional 3% for faculty.

$15 million for a significant infusion of funding from sources outside the funding formula to support Dual Credit programs over a three-to-five-year period.

$100 million for expenditure in five fiscal years, $20 million per year, for community colleges, regional universities, and Native American institutions for workforce training including internships.

$50 million to support building renewal and replacement. This includes funding for critical infrastructure, addressing critical deferred maintenance needs, building demolition, and construction cost overruns due to inflation and supply chain challenges.

Higher education unified Priorities for 2024 legislative session

Funding to transform and grow New Mexico’s economy