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Officials with Santa Fe Community College say passage of the expanded opportunity scholarship will be a gateway for new and returning students alike

Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe Community College

With the passage of Senate bill 140, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham stands ready to sign the expanded opportunity scholarship into law.

This will provide an avenue for students pursuing a two-year degree or certificate program at a public or Tribal college in New Mexico.

It will also give returning students the opportunity to start or finish their higher education. Dr. Becky Rowley, the President of Santa Fe Community College said this legislation will be a gateway for many students.

“We’ve supported SB 140 from the beginning, and the bill has been through a few changes. We feel like it is still going to provide a lot of support for our students.

Thomasina Ortiz-Gallegos, who is the Associate Vice President for Student Success at Santa Fe Community College said the passage of this legislation marks a great time to an in-state resident seeking higher education.

“This is an excellent time to be a New Mexican. This opportunity scholarship provides a foundation for students, rather they’re just coming out of high school, returning as President Rowley said, or thinking about coming back, or re-careeing. This is a great opportunity for students, and so it’s really going to evolve our state, and it’s going to change lives.”

Todd Lovato, the college’s Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations said, the opportunity scholarship is just another form of support the college can offer to their students.

“Community colleges are often more than just a classroom. They are a set of support services to help (students) get through college, and get through some of those hurdles that might stand in the way of them accomplishing college, that are well outside of that classroom space. This opportunity scholarship is just another support, where they can find a path and make college an option for them.”

When signed by the governor, New Mexico will officially become the home of the first in-the-nation free college program.