Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, announced on Wednesday a plan to make
tuition free for all residents of the state's 29 public colleges and
universities, regardless of their income, for the first time in the United
office says the program will help about 55,000 students and will begin the fall
semester of 2020. The New York Times first
exposes the news of the ambitious plan, pointing out that the proposal still
needs to be approved by the state legislature, which is currently controlled by
the Grisham Democrats.
The governor said
in a statement: "The plan is the absolute game changer in New Mexico."
"In the short term, we will see a better enrollment rate and a better
student success rate. In the long run, we will see improved economic growth and
improved incomes for workers, families and parents in New Mexico.”
Unlike New York
State's tuition-free program, which requires a student's family income to be
less than $125,000, the program is known as the New Mexico Opportunity
Scholarship, which will be free for students at all income levels. Like the
limited programs of other states, New Mexico plans to provide funding in the
form of a "last " scholarship - which means that they can only fill
the gap after other aid is applied.
states do provide tuition subsidies for two-year community colleges in some
cases, the four-year public schools offered by New Mexico to all students are
coverage could make New Mexico more mature than other states. According to the New York Times, about 65% of undergraduates
are among the most needed students in the United States. In addition, the
tuition fees are lower than the national average, making the plan more
feasible. For example, the current admission fee for in-state residents is
In a sense,
Grisham's plan is similar to that of New York: it can't pay for everything but
tuition. For example, New Mexico residents may receive tuition-free education,
but they still have to pay for secondary (but important) schools fees, such as
accommodation, books and equipment.
This shortage may
still require students to borrow student loans in New Mexico, albeit for a
small amount. According to the Institute for College Access & Success,
about 54% of the state's graduates from 2016 to 2017 have an average education
debt of $21,237.
These are some more
detailed information about the New Mexico State Plan:
According to the New York Times, this will be open to all
high school graduates recently, including undocumented immigrants.
Adults returning to
community colleges are also eligible for assistance.
This is part of the
"last money" because students run out of federal grant programs and
existing New Mexico grant programs before investing in the new fund.
Students must also
register and maintain an average university score of 2.5 or higher in order to
receive assistance each year.
New Mexico plans to
use the state's oil production revenue to pay for the program (estimated at
between $25 million and $35 million per year).
universities for all have become a presidential campaign mantra. Competitors
Bernie Sanders (BV) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) both unveiled free
college advice on the track. Other hopefuls weighed in.