The Rio Grande Foundation has been advocating for a dramatic overhaul of the Lottery Scholarship program for years. While we are unlikely to see a complete overhaul of the program, it does look like consensus is building to “decouple” tuition from scholarship dollars offered.
This is good news and it is notable that Garrey Carruthers at NMSU is leading the charge. It would seem that New Mexico’s largest two universities are the prime beneficiaries of the current policy, but UNM could thwart the entire effort.
After all, if you as a college student get a fixed amount (a voucher) to pay for higher education costs, you are likely to be more price sensitive and might consider more affordable CNM or another four year school like Eastern New Mexico over the more costly UNM.
Alternatively, UNM could restrain its tuition prices in order to become more competitive with other schools around the State. Either way, this is a long-overdue win for students and sound budgetary principles. We hope the Legislature adopts this reform idea in what promises to be a status quo 2018 session.