According to this story from KOB Channel 4, New Mexico’s lottery scholarship program is not generating enough revenues to continue into the future.
You can’t make people play the lottery and thus goose revenues, so what can be done? The simple solution is to increase academic standards for students receiving the scholarship. Currently, recipients can skate by with a mere 2.5 GPA. That is not exactly a high hurdle.
It would be interesting to see how many of those kids earning scholarships with GPA’s 3.0 and below are able to graduate in four years. Interestingly, the national average GPA for high schoolers is near 3.0, so raising the bar a bit should not be too high a standard considering what the lottery scholarship offers. Will raising the standards solve the problems, we’ll see if we can find the details on this, but it could certainly lead towards higher standards in higher ed.
9 Replies to “Lottery scholarship money declining? There’s a simple answer”
Oh my gosh?!?!?! Requiring effort from the poor little darlings receiving a free ride? How cruel can you be? After all, this is New Mexico, not America. How dare you require them to do anything other than party and stick their hands out. You people are cruel.
The article in the Alb Journal stated that the lottery, by statute, has to pay out 30% of its receipts in scholarships. Doesn’t that mean that the lottery has an overhead of 70%?
I’m not a gambler (and have never purchased a lottery ticket in NM), but I seem to recall hearing stats that casinos in most parts of the country return 90 to 95% of their revenues from slots as winnings.
The 70% figure seems to be outrageous. It would be interesting to compare NM overhead figures with those of other state lotteries.
Charles, for the lottery, prize money is “overhead”.
Not only totals for comparison, but an itemized, detailed list of each and every line item, salary, expense and any other expenditure that is wasting the 70% of the revenue going into this high-overhead government program.
I think the 70% number is reasonable as the lottery must pay out a significant portion of its revenues in prizes. Overhead is the real concern and we’re looking into that number.
New Mexico is blessed (?) with six senior universities which have numerous branch campuses, except NM Tech, a science/engineering school.
Consider that the main campus of the other five schools are the lead campus with best professors, research, and so on.
So that students are accepted on their ability, which precludes remedial work.
In other words, a two track system with better students working with the better professors and getting a better education, and in four years.
So, for the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque is the main campus, and Valencia, Rio Rancho, and so on, are second best.
The point: It is time for high school degrees to mean something, the same for college degrees, from the main campus.
Do MIT, University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins have branches? Should they?
How much money does the lottery pay out in salaries? Usually in New Mexico the salaries are high and there are more employees than needed. I think this should be looked at first and foremost. I also think the movies should be paid out to students who actually live in New Mexico and are here legally.
George, I like some of your ideas. The problem is that this is New Mexico where merit has no place in the minds of too many of our elected politicians who set up the lottery scholarships. They set up a lax system and it needs to be changed. Your idea of sending the better students to better professors will never be accepted here because it will be ridiculed as “profiling” and even, omigosh, “racist” (for some stupid corrupt reason). New Mexico is stuck in an egalitarian atmosphere that will hold any progress back until it is changed.
The concept of “state lotteries” to finance education was just a way of “pimping the kids” to legalize gambling and raise revenues in the guise of doing good for the children. Just look at how we “pimp the kids” in other ways to get what we want. The lottery law states: 6-24-24. Disposition of revenue.
A. As nearly as practical, an amount equal to at least fifty percent of the gross annual revenue from the sale of lottery tickets shall be returned to the public in the form of lottery prizes.
B. No later than the last business day of each month, the authority shall transmit at least twenty-seven percent of the gross revenue of the previous month until December 31, 2008 and at least thirty percent of the gross revenue of the previous month thereafter to the state treasurer, who shall deposit it in the lottery tuition fund.
The good thing about the indication that revenues are decreasing in this time of economic hardship is that maybe the education is working! Maybe people are realizing that frills have to go (such as gambling) when times are hard. Also that playing the lottery is just a tax on those that are poor at math and dream of hitting it rich without working for it. You know, like the poor people.