David Maestas, New Mexico State University’s student president, wonders why legislators and the administration have watched the lottery scholarship fund drift toward insolvency for three years without doing anything.
Good question, David.
As tuition and demand rose and lottery sales ebbed, policy makers kicked the question around, introduced bills and even formed a task force. It’s all gone nowhere.
Students have come up with their own solution, which deserves a serious hearing.
Maestas was among student leaders around the state who developed a proposal. They would raise the minimum grade point average from 2.5 to 2.75, reduce the number of consecutive semesters for scholarship use from eight to seven (three for students at two-year colleges), and make the grant a flat sum and not a promise to pay tuition, whatever that tuition might be.
In other words, the grants would rise and fall with the lottery fund and be dependent only on the lottery fund and not on taxpayers. It’s a critical distinction and one lawmakers wrestled unsuccessfully.