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New Mexico Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

New Mexico is home to a number of universities and colleges. There are four-year institutions, such as the University of New Mexico and University of the Southwest. There are two-year colleges in every corner of the state, including Clovis Community College in eastern New Mexico, University of Mexico-Gallup Branch in western New Mexico, New Mexico State University-Dona Ana Branch in southern New Mexico, and Northern New Mexico College in northern New Mexico. There are also a number of private and for-profit schools. Students who choose to pursue a post-secondary education in New Mexico may be eligible for financial assistance.

What Types of New Mexico Scholarships and Financial Aid Are Available?

  • Federal financial aid, such as grants and loans
  • New Mexico state financial aid programs—scholarships and grants
  • New Mexico university- and college-supported scholarships
  • Outside scholarships from professional organizations, foundations, and businesses

Federal Financial Aid Available for New Mexico Students

To be eligible for federal financial aid, students must have financial need. New Mexico students who qualify or believe they qualify must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to receive assistance from the federal government. The national deadline for the FAFSA is usually June 30 of the year for which you are requesting aid. Most states also have FAFSA deadlines, but since New Mexico doesn’t, you should check with your financial aid/scholarship office for your school’s FAFSA deadline. Because federal assistance programs are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications open January 1 the year prior to the year you need aid.

Your school’s financial aid/scholarship office will decide how much assistance you need, depending on the information you reported in your FAFSA. You will receive a financial aid package with grants and/or loans and may accept as much as you want.

New Mexico State Financial Aid Programs

New Mexico offers state financial aid programs to support students attending its universities. Here’s a list of available programs:

Legislative Lottery Scholarship
This New Mexico financial aid program assists students starting with the second semester in college. During the first semester, students need to establish eligibility. Students need to be enrolled full-time (12 units or more) and have a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Only New Mexico residents are qualified for this program. Click here for a list of eligible institutions. Contact your financial aid office for application procedures.

Competitive Scholarship
This scholarship offers assistance to high achieving students who are not U.S. citizens or who are not residents of New Mexico and are attending a 4-year New Mexico university full time. See your financial aid office for further details.

Education Trust Board (ETB) Pathways Scholarship
High school graduates who have a 3.5 GPA and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 may be eligible for $1,000 to help pay their first semester fees. Submit a FAFSA and contact your financial aid office for more details on the application procedures.

Legislative Endowment Scholarship
Students who have financial need may qualify for this scholarship ($1,000 a year for 2-year institutions and $2,500 a year for 4-year institutions). Only New Mexico residents are eligible to apply. Submit a FAFSA and contact your financial aid office for more details on the application procedures.

New Mexico Scholars
High school graduates who are in the top 5% of their class or scored a 25 on the ACT may be eligible to participate in this New Mexico financial aid program. Students must have financial need (click here for details), be enrolled full-time, and be enrolled before turning 21. Students attending public post-secondary institutions or the College of Santa Fe, St. John’s College, or College of the Southwest are eligible. Submit a FAFSA and contact your financial aid office for the application procedure.

Vietnam Veterans’ Scholarship
This New Mexico financial aid program provides financial assistance to Vietnam veterans who are undergraduates or graduates at public post-secondary institutions and the College of Santa Fe, St. John’s College, and College of the Southwest. Applicants must have been residents of New Mexico when they entered into the military and lived in New Mexico for a minimum of
10 years. See your financial aid office or call the New Mexico Veterans’ Service Commission at 1-505-827-6300 for more information.

General Richard T. Knowles Legislative Scholarship
This program supports cadets attending the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). Only New Mexico residents qualify. To apply, submit an application for admission to NMMI and a scholarship application by December 1 for the first round.

College Affordability Grant
This New Mexico financial assistance program was designed to support students who have financial need and are not receiving other state financial aid programs. Only New Mexico residents qualify. Students must be undergraduates at public post-secondary institutions in New Mexico. Submit a FAFSA and contact your financial aid office for the application procedure.

New Mexico Student Incentive Grant
Students who have financial need and are attending public post-secondary schools in New Mexico, or a few selective private institutions, may qualify for this program. Students must be New Mexico residents and undergraduates, and must have financial need. Submit a FAFSA and contact your financial aid office for the application procedure.

Student Choice Grant
This New Mexico program supports students with financial need who are attending the College of Santa Fe, St. John’s College, or College of the Southwest. Only New Mexico residents qualify. Submit a FAFSA and contact your financial aid office for the application procedure.

Loan-for-Service Programs
New Mexico offers seven loan-for-service programs to students who are studying to be professionals in areas of shortage. Loans are forgiven if students are able to provide service in an area where there is a shortage of professionals in the field. The loans available are:


  • Teacher Loan-for-Service

  • Nursing Loan-for-Service

  • Medical Loan-for-Service

  • Allied Health Loan-for Service

  • Minority Doctoral Loan-for-Service

  • Nurse Educator Loan-for-Service

  • WICHE Loan-for-Service

Please refer to the website for specific details on each loan program and talk to your financial aid office for further information on application procedures.

New Mexico University and College Scholarships

New Mexico universities and colleges offer their own scholarships to students who are enrolled in their programs. These scholarships may be given depending on academic achievement, need, major, special ability, leadership and any combination of these things. Some schools, like New Mexico State University, require a general scholarship application for most of their scholarships. Other schools, like the University of Mexico, require separate applications for each scholarship. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office to see what the application procedure for scholarships at your school requires.

Outside Scholarships In New Mexico

New Mexico Nurses Association
The association offers a scholarship to NMNA members who are pursuing their B.S.N., M.S.N., or Ph.D. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is October 15. Email the NMNA at info@nmna.org.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation
Scholarships ranging in amount from $1,000 to $20,000 are available to students in Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Mora, San Miguel, Santa Fe, and Taos counties. Awards will be given based on academic achievement, leadership/community involvement, ethnic background, and future goals.

New Mexico Broadcasters Association
Up to $25,000 in scholarships are available to New Mexico residents who are pursuing careers in broadcasting. Please see the association website for current application.

Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico
The foundation offers several scholarships to students who are attending a post-secondary education institution. Click here for the criteria for each scholarship. Click here to download applications.

Community Foundation of Albuquerque
The Albuquerque Foundation offers several scholarships to students in the Albuquerque area. Please see website for criteria. Click here to download applications.

Three Things to Keep in Mind About New Mexico Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Because there is no New Mexico state deadline for the FAFSA, be sure to check with your school’s financial aid/scholarship office for its priority deadline.
  • If you are planning to become a professional in an area where there is a shortage, you may qualify for a forgivable loan. Check the loan-for-service programs to see if you qualify.
  • There are many outside scholarships in New Mexico. The best way to find them is to look locally first to see if any groups in your area are offering scholarships.

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