Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Signs SB407 Authorizing Tribal Colleges to Participate in Lottery Scholarship Program

Some of the IAIA 2019 Scholarship Recipients

Published March 22, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. — On March 14, 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law SB 407 which will allow New Mexico Tribal Colleges, including IAIA, to receive funds from the Lottery Tuition fund. Other eligible Tribal Colleges in New Mexico include Navajo Technical University and Diné College.

The bill, introduced by Senator Benny Shendo, Jr., adds Tribal Colleges to the list of post-secondary institutions in the state that are eligible to receive the funds. As stated in the bill:
“To the extent that funds are made available by the legislature
from the fund, the boards of regents or governing bodies of public post-secondary educational institutions and tribal colleges shall award tuition scholarships in department-approved amounts to qualified students and legacy students attending their respective public post-secondary educational institutions…”

According to the New Mexico Lottery’s website, “Since 1996, more than122,000 students from across the state have attended New Mexico public colleges, universities, and technical colleges with the help of Legislative Lottery Scholarships.” As of the start of the next fiscal year, July 1, 2019, these funds will also be available to eligible students who attend Tribal Colleges

IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee) remarked that “We are extremely grateful to Representative Alcon and Senator Shendo, sponsors of the House and Senate companion bills; and the New Mexico Legislature and Governor Lujan-Grisham for their support of this historic legislation permitting students attending IAIA and the other Tribal Colleges eligibility for the Lottery Scholarship Program. This will dramatically improve access to higher education for Native students by expanding their options to include  Tribal Colleges in their home communities that offer opportunities to study programs incorporating an Indigenous perspective.”

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