ESPAÑOLA – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday hosted a roundtable discussion in Española on the subject of higher education in New Mexico, meeting with students and state scholarship recipients, local higher education leaders, local elected officials and more to discuss the state’s ongoing efforts to improve access to high-quality higher education and the governor’s free college initiatives, among other subjects.
The governor’s administration has heavily emphasized and worked toward mitigating and removing the financial burden of attending college for New Mexicans; in two years, more than 20,000 New Mexicans have benefited from the governor’s Opportunity Scholarship program, working toward a post-secondary degree without anxiety about student debt; and this year the Lujan Grisham administration restored the full tuition coverage of the state Lottery Scholarship for the first time since 2015.
As part of the Wednesday discussion, scholarship recipients and school leaders discussed with the governor how state programs can continue to serve them better and solidify workforce pathways from both two-year and four-year higher education institutions in the state.
“I am proud of the progress we have made as a state in enhancing access to higher education,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But there is more to be done, we all know, in reducing the true cost of college, in helping every single New Mexican succeed, in training the highly skilled workforce of both today and tomorrow. Free college has never been closer to reality in New Mexico. I want to hear from students and school administrators about how we keep moving forward – not only on the financial side but in how we connect students to high-quality jobs, in how we ensure safe and healthy campuses and so much more. I want students of every age, from every walk of life, no matter their background or family income or zip code, to know this state cares about their success and will continue to do the work to help them achieve it.”
“New Mexico has been a national leader in expanding access to college, but we can do even more to meet students where they are and ensure that every New Mexican has the chance to pursue education or training opportunities and enter a rewarding career, right here at home,” said Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez. “Thousands of New Mexicans have already benefited from the Opportunity Scholarship, and we can learn from their experiences on how we can open doors for every student, regardless of age, income, or ability to attend school full-time. We can transform educational access, improve lives, and continue toward a pathway to economic prosperity.”