Lottery enables educational endeavors

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

In December Kendall Sisneros of Albuquerque will be the first member on either side of her family to graduate from college.

She said it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Lottery Success Scholarship Program.

“It’s enabled me to go to college,” said Sisneros, a history major. “If it weren’t for that (the lottery scholarship) I wouldn’t have went. I took advantage of it.”

ENMU ranks third among the state’s six four-year universities in Lottery Success Scholarships students with 754, according to state Lottery officials.

“We are significantly higher than other small schools,” said Ronnie Birdsong, ENMU university relations vice president.

Since the fall of 1997, ENMU has received more than $6 million in funding for the program, according to ENMU officials.

According to the New Mexico Lottery Web site, www.nmlottery.com, the program has raised more than $288 million for education in New Mexico since 1996. This has enabled nearly 38,000 students to attend college across the state, the Web site reads.

In order for a student to qualify for the Lottery Success Scholarship, applicants must:

- Be a graduate of a New Mexico public high school or accredited private school.
- Be a New Mexico resident.
- Be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours.
- Maintain a 2.5 grade-point average.

The lottery scholarship will pay for eight consecutive semesters of tuition for those students who qualify and maintain their qualifications, said the Web site.

Qualifying students must also attend a New Mexico college for one semester after high school before the scholarship will pay for their tuition, Birdsong said.

“It is really to the students advantage to go their first year to a New Mexico school,” Birdsong said.