In a letter dated May 31, Dr. Jose Z. Garcia, Secretary of Higher Education announced that the Lottery Scholarship will cover 100% of tuition for the fall 2013 semester. He also announced that the “scholarship will experience a significant deficit” beginning in the spring semester of 2014 if the Legislature takes no further action.
Dr. Garcia stated that the scholarship saw a $20 million shortfall during the 2012-2013 academic year, and predicted that the shortfall will continue to grow unless “the Legislature passes a solution that is financially responsible, sustainable for years to come, and capable of supporting New Mexico’s students well into the future.” According to the letter, increased tuition costs, flat revenue from lottery sales, and high demand are the causes of fund insolvency.
Senate Memorial 101 calls for a work group to study ways in which the “scholarship can be reformed in order to preserve it over the long run.” Dr. Garcia announced his intention to work with legislators, students, and other stakeholders to seek input on this process. NMSU student Daniel Sonntag and Vice President Bernadette Montoya have both been recommended for service on this group.