Don’t Count on the Lottery

By: Salina Madrid

Starting next year, the lottery scholarship may not be able to pay as much student tuition as it used to.

The scholarship used to cover 100 percent of tuition, but with the lack of purchase in lottery tickets, the amount will go down.

“The amount is expected to decrease next year. It used to pay tuition in full, but now it only pays part of it,” said Virginia Tucker, the associate director of student affairs and enrollment management at NMSU.

The state lottery is expected to generate about 40 million dollars for scholarships a year, but the lack of funding for it has gone down.

“Students should start applying for other types of scholarships as early as possible,” said Tucker. “Scholar dollars is a great option and it helps because students will be considered for all institutional based scholarships, but there is a lot of other private scholarships out there that they should look at as well.”

Though the lottery scholarship may not fund as much tuition as it used to, it will still fund some.

In order to be eligible for the lottery scholarship, students have to be a resident of New Mexico, enroll in college immediately after high school graduation and they have to maintain a 2.5 GPA.

It doesn’t go into effect until after the first semester of student’s freshman year.

“This scholarship benefits students greatly because it helps them pay their tuition and allows them to continue on with their studies here at New Mexico State University,” said Tucker.

With the lottery not covering nearly as much as it used to, it has put a lot of pressure on students.

“Because of the lottery scholarship amount decreasing, my financial stability is going to be changed a lot,” said Ashley Segovia, a junior at New Mexico State University. “I am going to have to start taking my own money out of what I work for to go towards my college, verses me not having to do that at all since I started school,”

Every year, the state compiles data from different colleges and universities within New Mexico. They analyze all aspects including tuition, enrollment and fund availability, which is how they decide how much the scholarship will fund.

A report by the New Mexico Higher Education Department stated that between the years 2000 and 2015 the number of program recipients doubled, causing there not to be enough money to fund full tuition for all students.

This has taken a toll on the college communities around New Mexico and students are having to find other ways to pay for school.

“This is not only going to put a dent in my own wallet but probably my parents too,” said Segovia.

Universities may also have enrollment decreases because of this funding issue.

“I don’t know that it’s causing enrollment to go down but I’m sure it does contribute to it. Students will also have to find other sources to help them pay to go to school, whether it’s other scholarships, grants, loans or even having to get jobs,” said Tucker.

This is a big issue that is at hand right now for many students and according to Tucker, the state will let financial aid know how much the scholarship is going to pay for by June 1st.

For more information on the lottery scholarship and other financial aid opportunities, call their office at (575)-646-5089 or email

Author: nmsuroundup

The student voice of New Mexico State University since 1907.

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