TITLE 5                 POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION

CHAPTER 7         TUITION AND FINANCIAL AID

PART 20               LEGISLATIVE LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

 

5.7.20.1                 ISSUING AGENCY:  New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED)

[5/31/97; 5.7.20.1 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 7.20.1, 8/14/2000, A, 11/15/2007; A, 5/30/2008]

 

5.7.20.2                 SCOPE:  Provisions of 5.7.20 NMAC apply to all state public postsecondary institutions in the state of New Mexico.

[5/31/97; 5.7.20.2 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 7.20.2, 8/14/2000]

 

5.7.20.3                 STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Sections 6-24-23, 21-1-4.3, and 21-16-10.1, NMSA 1978

[5/31/97; 5.7.20.3 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 7.20.3, 8/14/2000, A, 11/15/2007]

 

5.7.20.4                 DURATION:  Permanent.

[5/31/97, 6/30/99; 5.7.20.4 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 7.20.4, 8/14/2000]

 

5.7.20.5                 EFFECTIVE DATE:  May 31, 1997 for all eligible student enrollments beginning in fall 1997.

[5/31/97; 5.7.20.5 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 7.20.5, 8/14/2000]

 

5.7.20.6                 OBJECTIVE:

                A.            The objective of 5.7.20 NMAC is to provide a level of financial support to New Mexico students who have graduated from a New Mexico high school or who have obtained a New Mexico general educational development (GED) diploma and are enrolled full-time at an eligible New Mexico public college or university.  This level of financial support is intended to help defray the cost of tuition at the public postsecondary institution where the student is enrolled.  Scholarships are not awarded on the basis of financial need; therefore, no student can be required to complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA).

                B.            A further purpose of 5.7.20 NMAC is to encourage New Mexico high school students to pursue a postsecondary education in New Mexico to complete a first four-year degree within a maximum of nine (9) semesters or a first two-year degree within a maximum of five (5) semesters (the number of semesters is so determined as the initial award is not made until the second semester of college enrollment).

                C.            As it applies to students with disabilities who may require special accommodations, the department, in consultation with the student and the office at the postsecondary institution that serves students with disabilities, shall review both the definition of "full time" and the maximum number of consecutive semesters of eligibility and adjust either or both as deemed reasonable and appropriate, based on the student's disability needs.  In no case shall "full time" mean fewer than six (6) credit hours per semester and in no case shall eligibility extend beyond fourteen (14) consecutive semesters.

[5/31/97, 9/30/98; 5.7.20.6 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 7.20.6, 8/14/2000; A, 6/29/2001; A, 5/30/2008]

 

5.7.20.7                 DEFINITIONS:

                A.            “Academic year” means any consecutive period of two semesters (or three semesters for accelerated programs), three quarters or other comparable units commencing with the fall term each year.

                B.            “Accelerated program” means one in which a summer semester is a program requirement and not a student choice; a cohort that requires sequence of courses taken in summer semester.

                C.            “Award recipient” means a student awarded a legislative lottery scholarship.

                D.            “Department” means the New Mexico higher education department.

                E.             “Eligible institution” means any New Mexico public postsecondary institution.

                F.             “Full-time” means:

                    (1)     in the case of first year eligibility, satisfactory completion of at least twelve (12) student credit hours during the student’s first regular session/semester of enrollment; regular session/semester” excludes summer session;

                    (2)     in the case of continuing eligibility, satisfactory completion of at least twelve (12) student credit hours during semester enrollment;

                    (3)     due to the limited duration of this scholarship, it is the intention of this program that the student earn sufficient credit to obtain a certificate/degree within the time prescribed by law therefore:

                              (a)     the student credit hour calculation shall include:

                                        (i)     earned student credit hours which count towards certificate/degree (for example, grades of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, or “CR” for credit).

                                        (ii)     a passing grade for developmental/remedial/skills courses (for example, a passing grade noted as a “P” for pass, “S” for satisfactory, or “CR” for credit) needed for admission to college credit courses contributing to a degree program;

                              (b)     the student credit hour calculation shall exclude:  grades of “F” for failure, “N/C” for no credit, “I” for incomplete, “R/R” for re-register, “PR” for progress,  “U/S” for unsatisfactory, “W” for withdrawal, “WP” for withdrawal pass, “WF” for withdrawal fail; even if an institution provides credit for courses in which a student earns these, or comparable grades, the credit hour calculation for the purpose of the legislative lottery scholarship program shall exclude them.

                G.            “GPA” means grade point average.

                H.            “Graduate equivalent diploma” means:

                    (1)     a diploma earned from a New Mexico public high school no earlier than May 1996;

                    (2)     a diploma earned from an accredited New Mexico private high school no earlier than May 1996;

                    (3)     a diploma earned from an out-of-state high school in which the state superintendent made supplemental distributions to pay the secondary out-of state tuition of the student because school facilities were not reasonably available in the New Mexico school district of their residence, pursuant to Section 22-8-30, NMSA 1978;

                    (4)     in the event that the student has not received a diploma as described in Paragraphs (1) through (3) of Subsection H of 5.7.20.7 NMAC, a New Mexico general educational development (GED) diploma earned no earlier than May 1996; for GED students, the GED certification date shall be considered the graduation date.

                I.              “Legislative lottery scholarship” means a scholarship awarded from proceeds of the New Mexico lottery tuition fund, to defray all or part of the cost of tuition.

                J.             “Non-enrollment” means a student is not enrolled in a postsecondary institution.

                K.            “Post-secondary institution” refers to a public postsecondary educational institution operating in the state, including a community college, branch community college, and four-year educational institution.

                L.             “Probation” means any period of time of enrollment that students, who fail to meet the continuing eligibility requirements, can re-establish eligibility for the program.

                M.           “Satisfactory academic progress” means, for continuing eligibility following establishment of first year eligibility, maintenance of a cumulative GPA of a minimum of 2.50 or higher on a scale of 4.0, to be determined at the end of each semester (to include summer semester).

                N.            “Summer semester” means a semester equal to fall and spring semester in duration and intensity that is required as part of an accelerated program.

[5/31/97, 9/30/98, 12/31/99; 5.7.20.7 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 7.20.7, 8/14/2000; A, 6/30/2003; A, 11/15/2007; A, 5/30/2008]

 

5.7.20.8                 STUDENT ELIGIBILITY:

                A.            First year eligibility.  A scholarship may be awarded to a New Mexico resident who:

                    (1)    has established New Mexico residency as defined in 5.7.18.9 NMAC or is eligible for a nondiscrimination waiver as defined in Subsection K of 5.7.18.10 NMAC, provided a student has received a graduate equivalent diploma as defined in Subsection H of 5.7.20.7 NMAC;

                    (2)     has a graduate equivalent diploma;

                    (3)     has met the admission requirements and is accepted for enrollment as an undergraduate student at an eligible institution;

                    (4)     has obtained at least a 2.5GPA during their first college semester;

                    (5)     has been enrolled full-time in a certificate or degree program at a New Mexico postsecondary institution during the first regular semester immediately following the students’ receipt of a graduate equivalent diploma as defined in Subsection H of 5.7.20.7 NMAC.

                              (a)     Mid-year high school graduates.  Students in receipt of a graduate equivalent diploma which is dated after the eligible institution’s admissions deadline for degree status in the first regular semester shall be permitted to enroll and establish eligibility in the next immediate regular semester (excluding summer semester).

                              (b)     Active duty military. Students who, within one hundred twenty (120) days of completion of a graduate equivalent diploma, begin service in the United States armed forces can establish eligibility for the scholarship during their first college semester if within one hundred twenty (120) days of completion of honorable service or medical discharge from the service are accepted for entrance to and attend a postsecondary institution.  Said students are subject to the remaining provisions of 5.7.20 NMAC.

                            (c)     Students with documented medical condition.  Students who are incapable of meeting the requirements specified in Paragraph 5 of Subsection A of 5.7.20.8 NMAC due to a documented medical condition do not forfeit eligibility for the legislative lottery scholarship; however, the following requirements shall apply.

                                        (i)     The student shall provide documents certifying the nature of his or her medical condition to the financial aid officer at the postsecondary institution at which the student is enrolling or will enroll. The financial aid officer shall exercise professional judgment to determine whether the medical condition is beyond the student's control and precludes the student from meeting the requirements specified in Paragraph 5 of Subsection A of 5.7.20.8 NMAC.

                                        (ii)     If, in the professional judgment of the financial aid officer, the student's documented medical condition is recognized as a valid reason for the student's inability to meet the requirements of Paragraph 5 of Section A of 5.7.20.8 NMAC the student's initial eligibility for the legislative lottery scholarship shall be suspended or tolled unless and until such time that the student is capable of meeting the requirements of Paragraph 5 of Subsection A of 5.7.20.8 NMAC.

                                        (iii)     The student with a recognized documented medical condition shall not be eligible to receive the legislative lottery scholarship until such time that all requirements of Subsection A of 5.7.20.8 NMAC have been met.

                    (6)     has not been awarded a New Mexico scholars’ scholarship or other scholarship which provides for one hundred percent of the cost of tuition; and

                    (7)     has complied with all the rules and regulations adopted by the department for award of the legislative lottery scholarship;

                    (8)     students with disabilities shall obtain a referral from the student services division of the postsecondary institution where he or she is enrolled that oversees students with special needs’ requests to reduce the credit hours to be considered full-time for scholarship eligibility; referrals shall be received by the last census day to determine first year eligibility.

                B.            Continuing eligibility.  Upon satisfaction of the first year eligibility requirements, the scholarship will be awarded to the student beginning with their second semester of enrollment. A student’s continuing eligibility shall be determined on a semester basis.

                   (1)     A legislative lottery scholarship award may be re-awarded to a student who:

                              (a)    maintains satisfactory academic progress; a student has the right to request use of his or her cumulative grade point average earned at all New Mexico institutions; and

                              (b)    remains enrolled for at least full time status for consecutive semesters or as provided in Subsection D of 5.7.20.9 NMAC; students accepted into accelerated programs who enroll full-time for the summer semester are eligible to receive the scholarship.

                    (2)     Students failing to meet continuing eligibility requirements shall defer to the eligible institution for probation consideration as defined in Subsection C of 5.7.20.8 NMAC.

                    (3)     Students with disabilities may be re-awarded the legislative scholarship under the following conditions:

                              (a)    a referral is obtained for each semester in which a reduction in credit hours is requested;

                              (b)    maintains satisfactory academic progress; and

                              (c)    in no case shall eligibility extend beyond fourteen (14) consecutive semesters.

                C.            Probation.  To be eligible for a probationary period, a student shall meet the requirements which follow:

                    (1)     the cumulative GPA or full-time requirements shall be determined upon completion of each semester;

                    (2)     the student is not eligible to receive the scholarship during the probationary period;

                    (3)     if the student is unsuccessful in re-establishing eligibility during the probationary period, their scholarship will not be reinstated; and

                    (4)     under no circumstances shall the student receive program awards in excess of those prescribed in Subsections A and B of 5.7.20.9 NMAC less the regular semester(s) of probation.

[5/31/97, 9/30/98, 12/31/99; 5.7.20.8 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 7.20.8, 8/14/2000; A, 11/15/2007; A, 5/30/2008]

 

5.7.20.9                 DURATION OF SCHOLARSHIP:

                A.            The initial scholarship shall begin with the second semester of enrollment at a postsecondary institution and continue for that academic year.  Thereafter, each scholarship is for a period of one semester subject to revocation for failure to maintain eligibility.  The scholarship may be renewed on a semester basis until the award recipient has received eight (8) semesters of scholarship awards, or until the student graduates with a bachelor’s degree from an eligible institution, whichever is sooner.

                B.            An award recipient may use the award at an eligible two-year postsecondary institution until he/she receives four semesters of scholarship awards or an associate’s degree and can continue to use the award at an eligible New Mexico four-year postsecondary institution if the student transfers to a four-year postsecondary institution without a break in attendance or the semester following receipt of the associate’s degree. In no case shall a student receive more than eight semesters of the award.

                C.            A student may transfer from a four-year postsecondary institution to a two-year postsecondary institution but, in no case shall a student receive more than four (4) semesters of awards (including those awarded at the prior postsecondary institution) or until the student graduates with an associate’s degree, whichever is sooner.

                D.            A student participating in cooperative education, military obligations, or other approved commitments may participate as long as the student has met the first year eligibility requirements before entering into said obligations.

                    (1)      Cooperative education. Students may maintain continuing eligibility for the legislative lottery scholarship if the student provides sufficient documentation to the financial aid officer, with certification from the postsecondary institution’s cooperative education office, that the “part-time enrollment” or “non-enrollment” was due to a legitimate cooperative education placement.  The financial aid officer shall, in turn, ensure that the student does not receive program awards in excess of those prescribed in Subsections A and B of 5.7.20.9 NMAC and shall exclude the semesters of “part-time enrollment” or “non-enrollment” from the determination of remaining eligible award semesters.

                    (2)     Military obligation.  Students may maintain continuing eligibility for this program for a period of up to one (1) year of “non-enrollment” if the student provides sufficient documentation to the financial aid officer, such as copies of authorized orders, that demonstrates the military obligation. The financial aid officer shall, in turn, ensure that the student does not receive program awards in excess of those prescribed in Subsections A and B of 5.7.20.9 NMAC and shall exclude the semesters of “non-enrollment” from the determination of eligible award semesters.

                    (3)     Other approved leave of absence for a period of up to one (1) year of "non-enrollment."  Students may obtain an approved leave of absence if the student provides sufficient documentation to the financial aid officer to justify the leave of absence.  The documentation may include approval for authorized leave by the postsecondary institution’s academic vice president, registrar, financial aid director, or other appropriate official.  The financial aid director shall, in turn, ensure that the student does not receive program awards in excess of those prescribed in Subsections A and B of 5.7.20.9 NMAC and shall exclude the semesters of “non-enrollment” from the determination of eligible award semesters.

                E.             Student ineligibility for other aid.  If a student becomes ineligible for a different scholarship that covers tuition, but satisfies the first year eligibility requirements of the legislative lottery scholarship, the student may begin receiving the legislative lottery scholarship for the remaining number of semesters of enrollment, not to exceed those prescribed in Subsections A and B of 5.7.20.9 NMAC.  For example, at a four-year postsecondary institution, if a student received a tuition scholarship that required a 3.0 GPA for two semesters and that student’s GPA subsequently dropped to a 2.5, the student could begin receiving the legislative lottery scholarship for 7 semesters (9 - 2 = 7) provided they meet the continuing eligibility criteria.

[5/31/97, 9/30/98; 5.7.20.9 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 7.20.9, 8/14/2000; A, 11/15/2007; A, 5/30/2008]

 

5.7.20.10               AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIP:  The amount of the award may vary dependent upon the amount of funds received from the lottery tuition fund and the number of eligible recipients.  Scholarships shall only apply to tuition costs.  Department staff will, in May annually, notify all eligible postsecondary institutions of the percentage of tuition each scholarship shall provide for the following academic year.

[5/31/97, 9/30/98; 5.7.20.10 NMAC- Rn, 5 NMAC 7.20.10, 8/14/2000; A, 11/15/2007; A, 5/30/2008]

 

5.7.20.11               ADMINISTRATION OF THE legislative lottery SCHOLARSHIP:

                A.            Eligible postsecondary institutions shall:

                    (1)     develop a method to notify students of their possible eligibility, during their first regular semester of enrollment;

                    (2)     designate an officer responsible for the scholarship; the officer designated by the institution shall be responsible for determining initial and continuing student eligibility for the legislative lottery scholarship under the terms of these rules and regulations; the responsible officer shall maintain a listing of each participating student to include but not be limited to:

                              (a)     social security number;

                              (b)     semester and cumulative GPA;

                              (c)     proof of initial and continuing enrollment; and

                              (d)     proof of receipt of a graduate equivalent diploma;

                    (3)     draw-down funds from the department on a per semester basis on behalf of eligible students; all fiscal year draw-downs shall be for eligible students enrolled during the same fiscal year;

                    (4)     for students that satisfied the first year eligibility requirements and seek continuing eligibility consideration, use professional judgment to determine that circumstances beyond the students control, for which documentation exists in the student’s file, warrant flexibility to make the program responsive to the students needs within the guidelines of the program; the institutions shall defer to their institutional satisfactory academic progress policy when considering circumstances which include, but are not limited to, consideration for falling below the cumulative GPA requirement or being enrolled in less than full-time status;

                    (5)     provide an annual report to the department to include the number of awards granted, amount of funds awarded, number of awards renewed, and ethnicity and gender of students receiving the legislative lottery scholarship;

                    (6)     publish the probation policy as defined in Subsection C of 5.7.20.8 NMAC;

                    (7)     enter into consortium agreements, as defined in the code of federal regulations, 34 CFR 6685, in order to greater facilitate the enrollment of students and to facilitate the student’s participation in this program;

                    (8)     ensure that all available three percent scholarships are awarded before granting legislative lottery scholarships; the intent of this provision is that tuition costs shall be paid first for those students eligible for merit-based aid packages funded by three percent scholarships; in those instances when tuition is not fully covered by the merit-based aid package, said student is eligible for the tuition cost differential to be funded by the legislative lottery scholarship program; nothing in this section requires a postsecondary institution to award a scholarship inconsistent with the criteria established or such scholarship; refer to Subsection E of 5.7.20.9 NMAC for additional provisions;

                    (9)     not require any student to complete the FAFSA to determine eligibility for the legislative lottery scholarship.

                B.            The department shall:

                    (1)     invest, through the state treasurer's office, proceeds deposited into the lottery tuition fund; earnings from investment of the fund shall accrue to the credit of the fund; any balance in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the fund for appropriation;

                    (2)     in May annually, notify all eligible institutions of the percentage of tuition each scholarship shall provide for the following academic year;

                    (3)     convene an annual meeting with the financial aid directors of eligible institutions to review the program; and,

                    (4)     conduct audits to ascertain compliance with rules and regulations; at least a random audit of each participating institution's records shall take place on at least an annual basis by members of the department; if, during the audit process, evidence indicates that a student should not have received a legislative lottery scholarship, the postsecondary institution will be held harmless for a semester payment, if the students file is appropriately documented; the postsecondary institution must notify the student of termination of their award, subject to continuing eligibility requirements.

[5/31/97, 9/30/98; 5.7.20.11 NMAC - Rn & A, 5 NMAC 7.20.11, 8/14/2000; A, 6/30/03; A, 11/15/2007; A, 5/30/2008]

 

5.7.20.12               TERMINATION OF SCHOLARSHIPS:  A scholarship is terminated upon noncompliance by the award recipient with the legislative lottery scholarship rules, regulations or procedures as promulgated by the department.

[5/31/97, 9/30/98; 5.7.20.12 NMAC - Rn, 5 NMAC 7.20.12, 8/14/2000; A, 11/15/2007; A, 5/30/2008]

 

HISTORY OF 5.7.20 NMAC:  [RESERVED]