Rust Opportunity Assistance Fund

If you experience an unforeseen financial situation (including those related to COVID-19), the Rust Opportunity Assistance Fund may be an optional resource.

 The situation must be beyond your control and possibly prevent you from continuing your education. The Rust Opportunity Assistance Fund is intended to assist you to continue your studies and complete a CNM certificate or degree. Applications are reviewed on a case by case basis and awarded accordingly. Your academic performance and progress in your program is an important factor in the final consideration.

You are encouraged to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for possible additional financial assistance.

Housing Assistance

For assistance with housing, we encourage you to apply for The New Mexico Emergency Rental Assistance program. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program assists households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For eligibility requirements and application please visit the Rental Help New Mexico website.

If applying for Rust and requesting assistance with housing, we will require you to provide a confirmation or denial letter from the NM Emergency Rental Assistance program. 

Note: Rust does not pay for tuition, car payments, insurance, cell phone bills, & cable bills. Housing requests will require you to provide a confirmation or denial letter from the NM Emergency Rental Assistance program. 

Application Requirements

You must turn in a completed application form with the following 6 steps completed:

  1. Rust Application (PDF) complete the fillable PDF Rust Application
  2. Write a Personal Statement explaining your unforeseen circumstance or emergency
    1. Why you need the emergency funds and how money will be used
    2. State exact amount requested, and who should be paid
    3. If you do not have a FAFSA on file, please give reason
    4. Include your educational and/or career goals
  3. Two letters of recommendation; One from a current instructor and one from an advisor
  4. Submit Supporting documentation of the financial emergency (notice of layoff/termination, receipts, police reports, medical statements, eviction notice, etc.) Please take a picture of your supporting documentation and submit with your application.
  5. Payment Contact Information This may mean getting a completed and signed W-9 from the provider for direct payment. If it is NOT possible to get a W-9, please sign up for direct deposit with your personal bank account to eliminate the need for students to come to CNM.
  6. Email completed application to

    These documents will be used to determine the financial emergency and amount of award. Only copies of original supporting documentation should be submitted. Documentation will not be returned to you. 

    Only complete applications will be accepted. 

    Information About Processing of Your Application

    Submitting Documentation

    Please submit the completed application with required documentation to

    Applications are reviewed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your personal statement, academic progress, and supporting documentation will be used to determine your eligibility, level of emergency, and amount of scholarship award. If awarded, you will receive an award check payable to the service provider. You will be contacted by phone after your application has been reviewed to inform you of approval or denial. If you are awarded, you will be contacted again when your check is ready to be picked up.

    Rust Opportunity Assistance Fund is awarded one time within a twelve-month period.