ENMU offers tuition guarantee

By Kevin Baird

CMI staff writer

kbaird@cnjonline.com

Eastern New Mexico University is offering a guarantee.

Receive a New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship and the first four semesters at the school will be paid for.

ENMU announced the Greyhound Guarantee last week on projections the lottery scholarship program will not be able to cover full tuition fees beginning with the spring 2014 semester.

“Our fear is that the lottery scholarship is not going to pay 100 percent of tuition,” ENMU President Steven Gamble said. “We did the Greyhound Guarantee to help the students and their families. Our intent is that the student’s tuition will still be paid for.”

According to the New Mexico Higher Education Department, the lottery scholarship is funded by the New Mexico lottery and pays 100 percent tuition for qualified students.

Larry Behrens, NMHED public information officer, said “the key factors contributing to the current situation with the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship are increasing tuition rates combined with increased demand and flat revenue.”

“The scholarship gets about $40 million in new money every year,” Behrens said, “so it’s not going away, but the demand is greater than the revenue.”

Wendel Sloan, ENMU director of media relations, said one of the motivations behind the Greyhound guarantee is to attract more students to the college.

“We have a lot of first-generation students and a big part of our mission is serving them,” Sloan said.

Sloan said ENMU will not offer the guarantee beyond the fourth semester because, “it would be too expensive to offer it all four years.” He said, “it is impossible,” to say how much it will cost because the university does not know how short the lottery scholarship will be, and they do not know how many students will be eligible for a lottery scholarship in a given semester.

There were 800 students on the lottery scholarship last fall at ENMU according to Sloan.

Sloan said the ENMU Foundation will cover first semester shortages while the remaining three semesters will be paid for by ENMU funds.

The Greyhound Guarantee is available to freshman and sophomores at ENMU who qualify for the lottery scholarship, according to Gamble. He said transfer students are eligible as long as they meet the lottery scholarship requirements and the student will be completing one of their first four semesters of school.

Behrens said legislative action is the only way funding will increase for the lottery scholarship.

According to the NMHED website, to qualify for a lottery scholarship a student must:

  • Be a New Mexico resident.
  • Must have graduated from a New Mexico public, or accredited private school, or earned a New Mexico GED.
  • Must be enrolled full-time (12 credits) in an eligible New Mexico public college the first regular semester immediately following high school graduation.
  • Must maintain a 2.5 GPA.

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