Lottery-linked scholarships face lower sales, higher tuition

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Efforts to make college more accessible in New Mexico and a handful of other states by tapping lottery proceeds are in jeopardy as tuition costs rise, ticket sales slump and state budgets falter.

Tens of thousands of students in New Mexico who depend on the state's lottery scholarship program may have to scrape together more money if they want to continue their education.

Lawmakers failed during the recent legislative session to come up with a fix to ensure the program's solvency. If nothing is done, tuition assistance could be slashed by 30 percent come fall 2017.

Of the states that offer lottery-based scholarships, New Mexico has one of the most generous programs.

From Georgia to Tennessee, other states already have been forced to tighten eligibility and cap awards to close the gap between demand and lottery revenue.