Changes to state scholarship eligibility coming July 1


New Mexico Lottery, Grow Your Own Teachers scholarships open to more students 

The New Mexico Lottery and Grow Your Own Teachers Scholarships will be available to more New Mexico students starting July 1 as laws passed during the 2021 legislative session go into effect.  

“Expanding access to scholarship and grant programs for more New Mexicans means more opportunities and greater upward mobility for our citizens and communities,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said. “These are important steps for increasing the number of first-time freshmen entering college and the number of teachers available to serve public school students.”  

Students graduating from approved homeschools will now be eligible for the Lottery Scholarship without having to pass a high school equivalency exam, such as the GED, a previous requirement. Other existing eligibility requirements including attending a public college or university within 16 months of high school graduation, establishing and maintaining a 2.5 college GPA, and maintaining full time equivalent status will still apply.  

With changes to the Grow Your Own Teacher’s scholarship, more New Mexico educational assistants and instructional aides seeking to become licensed teachers will also be eligible for up to $6,000 per year for up to five years to pursue teacher education degrees and request professional leave to attend classes. Any public school employee who has worked with students in a classroom setting for at least two years is eligible, as are any qualifying school employees authorized to work in the United States, regardless of citizenship status.   


For more information about financial aid programs available to New Mexicans, visit  


“No one knows their local school communities better than our hard-working educational assistants and instructional aides, who deserve the opportunity to add to the teacher pipeline in their district,” said bill sponsor Rep. Joy Garratt. “This legislation expands the scholarship opportunity to those who have worked with students for at least two years, whether or not their job title names them an educational assistant.” 

More than $63.5 million is available for the Lottery Scholarship for the upcoming school year, and all eligible students will have their tuition fully covered for the first time since 2015 at any public or Tribal college or university in the state. Half a million dollars has been allocated for the Grow Your Own Teachers Scholarship.  

New Mexicans interested in receiving state or federal scholarships and grants for higher education should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at or noncitizen equivalent application at their respective college or university. Students must also enroll in a qualifying institution or program for the 2021-2022 academic year.  

For more information about financial aid programs available to New Mexicans, visit