New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship

The New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship encourages New Mexico high school graduates and New Mexico General Education Diploma (GED) recipients to enroll full time and complete a 2 year degree within 4 semesters or a 4 year degree within 8 semesters. It provides financial support by paying a portion of the cost of tuition at any New Mexico public post-secondary institution. This scholarship is not awarded on the basis of financial need. While we strongly encourage all students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students are NOT required to complete a FAFSA to receive the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship.

Eligibility Requirements:

New Mexico residents who have established residency and attended a public New Mexico secondary educational institution for at least one year, regardless of immigration status, and meet all below listed criteria are eligible.

Graduate from a New Mexico public or accredited private high school, or received a New Mexico GED

Enroll full-time (fifteen credit hours at UNM ) in a public New Mexico college or university in a degree or certificate program the within 16 months following high school graduation or receipt of a GED

Complete at least fifteen credit hours with a semester GPA of 2.5 or better in the first term of college, the Qualifying Semester.

If ALL the above requirements are NOT met a student is NOT eligible to receive the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship. Only exceptional mitigating circumstances that are beyond the student's control and precluded the student from meeting the requirements during their Qualifying Semester can be considered and will require the submission of a Scholarship Petition with supporting documentation.

The Legislative Lottery Scholarship will be awarded for the second semester of attendance to students who have met all the eligibility requirements during their Qualifying Semester. The scholarship pays up to $4,252 of tuition per semester for the 2023/2024 academic year – it does NOT cover mandatory student fees or course fees. It is not awarded in summer except for accelerated programs, such as Nursing. 

Continuing Eligibility Criteria:

A student will remain eligible to receive this scholarship by completing 15 NEW credit hours in each consecutive fall and spring terms while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better – repeated courses do NOT count. Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of traditional letter grades, A, B, C, D, F and WF. The grade of CR counts towards total credit hours completed but does not affect GPA. Grades of F, NC, I, W, WP, WF and Audit and repeated classes do NOT count towards total credit hours completed but may negatively impact GPA. A repeated course is a course that is being taken again after previously receiving a passing grade of D- or better or CR.

Duration of Eligibility:

The Legislative Lottery Scholarship may be awarded up to 7 consecutive semesters at UNM or receipt of a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. It may be transferred to and from other New Mexico Public Colleges and Universities with the use of the New Mexico Scholarship Transfer Transcript.

Students with Disabilities:

Students with qualified disabilities who are registered with UNM’s Accessibility Resource Center may be approved to attend part time up to 14 terms. The Financial Aid Office must receive certifications by the end of the third week of courses each fall and spring semester. All other Lottery requirements remain the same.

Consortium Agreement:

Students can maintain full time enrollment by taking classes at multiple public New Mexico secondary educational institutions. The Lottery Scholarship will be adjusted to pay tuition accrued at UNM and tuition accrued at the host school  for the 2022/2023 academic year. To mix enrollment between schools, students MUST complete the Consortium Agreement Form and submit it to the Student Financial Aid Office by the end of the 3rd week of classes.


A student who has met the initial eligibility requirements whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 or does not complete 15 credits each fall and spring term will not be awarded the Lottery for the upcoming term. Students will be allowed to make up credit hours/GPA deficits during the summer semester of the same academic year. Once a deficit is made up, students must submit a Scholarship Petition to request the reinstatement of their scholarship. Students can also re-establish eligibility if an exceptional mitigating circumstance which precluded the student from completing the requirements exists. To do so, students MUST submit a Scholarship Petition with a personal statement explaining the mitigating circumstance. Supporting documentation must also be submitted. Scholarship Petitions MUST be submitted by the end of the 3rd week of the semester for which a student is requesting re-instatement of their scholarship.

If a student is NOT registered full time by the end of the 3rd week of classes, the student forfeits eligibility for the Lottery Scholarship and can no longer receive Lottery funding.

Leave of Absence/Exception to Continuing Eligibility:

Previously qualified students may be approved for a leave of absence for cooperative education, military obligations, participation in a study abroad program, or other exceptional mitigating circumstance. A Petition for Leave of Absence with supporting documentation must be submitted to UNM’s Student Financial Aid Office for consideration. Students will be emailed once a decision is made or if additional documentation is needed.

****NOTE: Information contained in this document is subject to change. All information pertaining to the NM Legislative Lottery Success Scholarship is subject to Legislature change.****