New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship

The New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship provides tuition and required fee assistance for New Mexico residents who meet eligibility and are pursing a training certificate, Associate Degree, or Bachelors Degree at a New Mexico public college or university.


The Opportunity Scholarship is awarded during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters starting the 2022-2023 academic year.

The Opportunity Scholarship will cover up to 100% of tuition and required fees and up to $50 per credit hour for course specific fees. There is no application required for the Opportunity Scholarship. If you meet the eligibility criteria, our Scholarship team will work with you to award the scholarship.

For 2022-2023 The Fast track programs, CNM Online College, Law Enforcement Academy will be covered at $126.00 per credit hour. Electroneurodiagnostic Technology program will be covered at $171.00 per credit hour. 

Specialty Programs will not be covered at 100%, per NMHED. 

You can visit the New Mexico Higher Education Department website for more information. 


  • Be a resident of New Mexico.
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or received a high school equivalency credential
    • Recent graduate learners must have graduated from an accredited NM high school or complete a PED approved home school program.
  • For recent graduate learners, enroll 12 credits hours but no more than 18 credits hours for the Fall and Spring semester.  
  • For continuing students, enrolled in at least six credit hours, but no more than 18 credit hours in the Fall or Spring semester.
    • Consecutive enrollment for Fall and Spring terms. Summer term is optional and will pay a minimum of 3, but not more than 9, credit hours.
  • Maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) beginning with the first semester receiving the scholarship 
  • Do not exceed 90 attempted credit hours for completion of an Associate Degree
    • The scholarship covers up to 90 credit hours for an Associate degree and 160 credit hours for a Bachelors Degree.
  • Students who currently have an Associate Degree or Bachelors Degree are not eligible at CNM.
  • Non-credit programs are not eligible
  • Students are encouraged, but are not required, to complete a FAFSA. 
Note: If you have 90 attempted hours or have an Associate, Bachelors, Masters or doctoral degree , you are not eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship at CNM. 

High School Requirement

Continuing Eligibility

  • Maintains a 2.5 cumulative GPA
    • We are currently reviewing students who fell below a 2.5 GPA prior to Fall 2022. 
  • Maintains Consecutive enrollment
    • Consecutive enrollment for Fall and Spring terms. Summer term is optional and will pay a minimum of 3, but not more than 9, credit hours.
    • Meets earned credit hour criteria

Transfer Students

  • Must submit, to CNM, a New Mexico Scholarship Transfer Transcript, to be completed by the institution from which you are transferring. 
  • Meet all eligibility requirements, listed above.
    • Transfer hours are included in 90 credit hour maximum.
The Opportunity Scholarship will be re-awarded to a recent graduate learner during the second semester if continuous enrolled and re-awarded to a returning student learner during the second continuous semester of enrollment.  The scholarships will be re-awarded to student's who maintain a minimum of 2.5 cumulative GPA and maintains continuous enrollment and meets earned credit hour criteria provided in the eligibility criteria section above for recent graduate or continuing student. 

Duration of the Scholarship

  • Scholarships may continue for an eligible student for up to 90 attempted credit hours or the completion of an Associate Degree.
  • Once an Associate Degree is obtained, the student will no longer be eligible at CNM and can continue towards a Bachelors Degree at a university. 
  • For recent graduate learners, enroll full-time (at least 12 credit hours no more than 18 credit hours for fall and spring semester) in a credit-bearing 2-year program. 

 Recent Graduate Learners

During the 16 months after graduation, a recent graduate learner may attend a public post-secondary educational institution or tribal college prior to their initial semester less than-full time without affecting future program eligibility, as long as a 2.5 GPA is maintained.  Once a recent graduate learner is enrolled and attends  full-time during the 16 months after graduation, the recent graduate learner shall be considered to have commenced the initial semester and must meet the initial semester eligibility requirements. Recent graduate learners must have graduated from an accredited NM high school or complete a PED approved home school program. 

Probationary Status

Accepting Spring 2023 Opportunity appeals. No longer accepting Fall 2022 appeals.

You can apply for probationary status if you can't meet the Opportunity Scholarship requirements because of an exceptional mitigating circumstance beyond your control. Fill out the Request for Probationary Status form, attach the required documentation, then submit to Scholarship Services for review.

  • A probation period is allowed for exceptional circumstances on a per semester basis. A leave of absence can be renewable yearly at the higher
    education institution.
  • The scholarship may be renewed two years after losing eligibility and exhausting an allowable probation period.
  • If a probationary appeal is not granted, reinstatement of Opportunity can be petitioned no sooner than two years following the end of the semester when eligibility was lost. 

Calculate Your Qualifying Term

New Mexico high school graduates or New Mexico high school equivalency recipients will have up to sixteen months from the date you receive your high school credential to begin your post-secondary education and complete your Qualifying Term.

Calculate your qualifying term (Excel Sheet)

Note:  Qualifying term can be completed in Fall or Spring only.