Top Scholarships for New Mexico Students to Apply in May 2024

Each year, 72.4% of New Mexico high school graduates attend college, though the yearly increasing cost of college tuition and fees makes it difficult for many New Mexico students to afford higher education. There are many scholarship programs designed to fill this need and give students the resources they need to attend college. New Mexico residents can find exclusive scholarships intended specifically for their higher education expenses.

Top 10 Scholarships for New Mexico Students

  1. Isaac Yunhu Lee Memorial Arts Scholarship: For students pursuing a degree in the arts. Award: $12,000.
  2. Charles Cheesman’s Student Debt Reduction Scholarship: Provides $10,000 to help reduce student debt.
  3. Jae’Sean Tate BUILT Scholarship: Offers $9,250 to BIPOC students who have worked in the service industry.
  4. Marissa Collections Scholarship: For students planning a career in the fashion industry.
  5. BJB Scholarship: Awards $1,000 to three students demonstrating financial need.
  6. Carlos E. Reid XXV Scholarship: Open to first-generation, low-income students majoring in the arts. Minimum GPA: 3.0.
  7. Kenyada Me’Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship: For BIPOC high school seniors with a GPA of at least 2.5.
  8. Nina L. Coleman Memorial Scholarship: $2,000 for BIPOC students with financial need.
  9. Lo Easton’s “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship: For creative students tired of traditional essay prompts.
  10. WTFintech? No-Essay Scholarship: Awards $1,000 to students interested in finance.

New Mexico Students and Student Debt

To pay high tuition prices, many New Mexico residents turn to student loans. Most students cannot afford to pay education expenses out of pocket, and student loans seem like an easy source of aid. Between 2007 and 2017, New Mexico saw a 129% growth in student debt. There are currently 216,800 student loan borrowers in New Mexico, who collectively owe more than $6.8 billion. This reliance on student loans can burden students and prevent them from achieving other life goals, such as buying a home, pursuing graduate school, or starting a business.

Paying off these student loans also proves quite difficult. New Mexico has the second-highest student loan default rate in the country, and more than one out of every five student loan borrowers in New Mexico is severely delinquent on their debt.

Colleges in New Mexico

There are 51 colleges and universities in New Mexico, including 28 public schools and 23 private schools. There are 109,482 students enrolled in these colleges. Across the state, 55,038 students are enrolled full-time and 56,381 are enrolled part-time.

The University of New Mexico is the largest in the state, with 22,311 students enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year. The second-largest university is New Mexico State University with 14,227 students, and Eastern New Mexico University is the third-largest with a student population of 5,266.

In recent years, many New Mexico residents have opted out of pursuing a college education. The total number of undergraduate and graduate enrollments in New Mexico public post-secondary institutions has been steadily decreasing each year. Of the students who do attend, only 39.26% graduate. It is hard for students to maintain good academic standing while working and worrying about the high cost of their education.

New Mexico College Demographics

New Mexico is home to a diverse set of students. Hispanic students, who are typically underrepresented on college campuses, make up 48.10% of the student population. White students account for 29.62% of the total, Native American students for 8.90%, Black students for 2.60%, and Asian students for 2.19%.

Colleges in New Mexico align with national trends regarding the gender of their students. A majority, 61%, of university students in New Mexico are female, while only 39% are male.

Costs of College in New Mexico

Luckily for college students in New Mexico, the cost of tuition is 23.02% less than the national average. The average cost of attendance at a public four-year university in New Mexico is $16,193. At a private four-year institution, students in New Mexico can expect to pay an average of $36,962 a year.

St. John’s College, a private university, is the most expensive school in the state, with a cost of attendance of $49,270 per year. The University of New Mexico is the most expensive public four-year university, with in-state students expected to pay $17,646 a year. Though the tuition and fees are among the lowest in the nation, they can still be prohibitive. Tuition in New Mexico increased by 3.62% from the 2018-2019 academic year to the 2019-2020 year.

Financial Aid in New Mexico

Each year, students in New Mexico receive $600 million in financial aid to support their educational journey. Though the majority of assistance students receive does not have to be paid back, a significant portion comes from student loans. To break it down, 51% of this aid comes in the form of grants, 12% from scholarships, 35% from loans, and 2% from work-study.

One of the main sources of scholarship resources comes from New Mexico’s Legislative Lottery Scholarship, which awarded 24,274 students during the 2020 academic year. The total Legislative Lottery Scholarship amount is $44,874,482. Qualifying students can get 100% of their tuition covered with this scholarship, but many students are ineligible, and there are still other expenses it does not cover.

The New Mexico Higher Education Department estimates a $35,320,000 gap in tuition and fees that aid fails to cover. Students with high financial need can find it even more difficult when this aid does not provide enough support. For example, students who received federal Pell Grants and subsidized loans consistently had lower six-year graduation rates.

Thankfully, students do not have to worry about putting their dreams on hold for financial reasons. Many scholarships exist to help students who intend to enroll in college.

Additional Scholarships that Students in New Mexico Should Consider

Students can find a broad range of scholarships tailored to their individual needs and personalities. Many niche scholarships are perfect for eligible students. Apply for as many scholarships as possible to maximize award amounts and ensure your future.

Scholarships for High School Students in New Mexico

Students can begin receiving scholarship awards as early as high school. New Mexico high school students can benefit from applying for scholarships before they even choose a college to attend. Generally, high school students have less to worry about than their college counterparts, so applying for scholarships in high school can save them from future financial stress.

High school students who know what career field they want to pursue can find specific scholarships for their intended major. For example, students who want to go to art school can apply for the Isaac Yunhu Lee Memorial Arts Scholarship.

Students can also apply for general scholarships, such as Youssef University’s College Life Scholarship, which is available to students of any education level who plan to enroll or are currently enrolled in college.

New Mexico Scholarships for High School Seniors

Graduating high school seniors often have the most scholarship opportunities available to them. Scholarships can provide useful resources to high school seniors beginning to solidify their career plans.

College Scholarships for New Mexico Residents

Students who have already completed their bachelor’s degree or are currently enrolled in another degree program are still eligible for many scholarships. Whether a full-time student or part-time, there are still many opportunities available.

High school graduates who have already started college can find many scholarships that will allow them to afford higher education. One easy scholarship for students interested in finance is the WTFintech. No-Essay Scholarship.

New Mexico Scholarships for Hispanic or Latinx Students

There are many scholarship opportunities available to support Hispanic students as they attend college, such as the Hispanic Empowerment No-Essay Scholarship. Scholarships like these promote the enrollment of traditionally underrepresented groups in university coursework.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships in New Mexico

How to apply for New Mexico scholarships?

To begin applying for scholarships in New Mexico, students must first create a free profile on scholarship platforms. These platforms provide a simple way to apply for a wide variety of scholarships.

When can I start applying?

It is best to apply for scholarships as early as possible. High school students might find it beneficial to start thinking about financial support for college before they even decide on which college to attend. It is never too early or too late to secure scholarships.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a scholarship?

Scholarships will be clear about their eligibility requirements. Some may require a certain GPA or specific major, while others are open to all students. Look for scholarships with criteria that match your profile to increase your chances of winning.

What do I have to do to apply?

The application process varies by scholarship. Some require essays, while others may ask for creative submissions like photos or videos. No-essay scholarships are easy to apply for but are highly competitive.

Are scholarships counted as income?

Scholarships are not counted as income if they are used for necessary educational expenses. As long as your total scholarship award is less than the cost of your tuition and fees, you will not be expected to pay taxes on the award amount.

In conclusion, New Mexico offers a variety of scholarships to help students manage the high costs of college. By applying to both general and exclusive scholarships, New Mexico residents can increase their chances of receiving financial aid and reducing their reliance on student loans.