Gov. to college students: Lottery scholarship can be saved

Posted at: 02/12/2014 1:12 PM
Updated at: 02/12/2014 1:16 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Gov. Susana Martinez is assuring New Mexico college students that she is making it a priority to keep the lottery scholarship solvent.

The scholarship is in danger of running out of money. For the spring semester alone, the scholarship fund is short $16 million, according to Martinez.

In a letter printed in the Daily Lobo, the governor says she is hopeful lawmakers will find a solution in the current legislative session. But right now, several lottery bills are held up in a Senate committee without any promise of making it to the floor.

"If lawmakers fail to find a solution in this legislative session, the law requires the state to dramatically cut the scholarship for all students," Martinez wrote in the Daily Lobo. "This outcome, however, is completely avoidable — but our legislators must act with clear purpose and great urgency."

The scholarship pays tuition for about 14,000 college students and many say they wouldn't be in school without the help. But increasing tuition costs paired with flat lottery ticket sales are making the scholarship unsustainable.

Two proposed solutions include raising the grade point average to qualify for the scholarship or making it need-based aid.

Martinez encourages concerned students and parents to contact their lawmakers and urge them to protect the lottery scholarship.