Today’s Solutions: June 29, 2022

Facing exorbitant tuition fees, almost all students and families in the United States have no other choice than to borrow money and take on an increasing amount of debt that they can’t payback. Finding ways to make tuition fees across the country more affordable is essential for those seeking to get higher education. Now, that’s exactly what the state of New Mexico is trying to achieve.

New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship Act

In the coming fall, tuition fees will be free for most students in the Enchantment State, where Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship Act last Friday. First introduced in 2019, Senate Bill 140 will make tuition free for any students attending New Mexico public schools or tribal colleges, including community colleges.

“For over a quarter of a century, New Mexico has been a national leader in providing free college to its residents. A fully funded Opportunity Scholarship opens the door for every New Mexican to reach higher, strengthening our economy, our families and our communities,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “Signing this legislation sends a clear message to New Mexicans that we believe in them and the contributions they will make for their families and the future of our great state.”

The Opportunity Scholarship program will now have a fund of $75 million, which will go towards supporting an estimated 35,000 students this fall. That’s more than half of all undergraduate students in New Mexico, according to the governor’s staff, and will also benefit adult learners and part-time students seeking higher education.

New Mexico follows other states across the country that have taken efforts in recent years to provide free education. Back in 2019, California waived tuition fees for first-time, full-time students, expanding its existing California College Promise program. And just last year, North Carolina community colleges offered free tuition to students that enrolled in 2021.

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