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New Mexicans May Get Help with Higher Education

The University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Senate Bill 159 was given a due pass from the Senate Education Committee with only one member in opposition.

The Higher EducationTrust Fund Bill was presented by the sponsor, Senator Pete Campos.

“Senate Bill 159 establishes a trust fund to pay for tuition and student financial aid programs authorized by law. To accomplish this, the bill creates a higher education trust fund to invest $959 million transferred from the tax stabilization reserve fund. Additionally, the bill creates a higher education program fund which receives annual distributions from the higher education trust fund and may be used for scholarships for tuition and fees.”

New Mexico has two scholarship programs that provide access to tuition-free higher education for many undergraduate students.

But neither of these programs guarantees tuition-free college and scholarship amounts may be reduced based on availability of funding.

This bill mentions that the funds may be used for purposes other than student financial aid should general fund balances, including all reserves, be insufficient to meet the amount of appropriations authorized from the general fund.