New Mexico celebrates College Application Month


  • Students are encouraged to apply with fees waived

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) is working with the New Mexico Public Education Department, the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation and the state’s public colleges and universities to open college applications this November as part of College Application Month support financially.

New Mexico public colleges and universities that normally charge fees for submitting an application will waive the fee throughout November as part of the joint initiative, although some New Mexico schools do not charge application fees at any time of the year.

“We are excited to encourage New Mexico students and families to apply to college and explore opportunities beyond high school or wherever they are in life,” said College Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez. “New Mexico is the nation’s tuition-free college capital, and we have so many nationally recognized degree and certificate programs that lead to rewarding careers right here in our own backyard. I encourage any New Mexican interested in visiting to get started.”

Secretary of Education Kurt Steinhaus agreed, “Now is the time for our high school students to share their hopes for their future with state college and university admissions offices.

Complete these applications. Big dreams:

New Mexico saw its second-highest increase in college enrollments this fall as tens of thousands of students made tuition-free colleges available through Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships, the largest number to benefit from this benefit in state history. The state hopes this trend will continue as more New Mexicans of all ages take the opportunity to pursue their education.

“We really hope students will take advantage of the free applications this month. The idea is that if students don’t have to pay for the application process, they can apply to more than one institution and find a better solution. We anticipate that better alignment will result in more deals. The ultimate goal is to reach more people with post-secondary degrees, whether in college, university or trade school,” said Grace Tackman, associate vice president of the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation.

While students can still apply to colleges and universities in the spring, starting the process in the fall is ideal to give students and families ample time to research admissions requirements, degree programs, scholarships, and other factors before deciding to enroll . Early submission of admissions and financial aid applications also offers students the best chance of early consideration for admission and certain scholarship programs.

Research conducted by the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center found that increasing the number of college applications a student completes from one to two increases a student’s likelihood of enrollment by 40 percent, with three applications submitted increasing the likelihood of enrollment by an additional 10 percent.

The College Application Month campaign engages high school counselors and other partners to work with students and families to research college and career opportunities and submit admissions applications. Several New Mexico high schools have already hosted on-site application events with recruiters from state and provincial schools.

“Applying to college can be incredibly expensive for my students. The College Application Month initiative has helped make it affordable by exempting schools across the state of New Mexico from paying fees. It has helped open so many doors for students who might not otherwise apply!” said Aubree Boivin, an advisor at the Albuquerque School of Excellence.

“College Application Month is about more than seniors applying to colleges and universities in our state—it’s about creating a culture of college and career readiness for our students, K-12. We have created a toolkit that provides resources such as social media posters, employee door hangers, college research/application sheets, ways to implement the NM Career Cluster guide, ideas for Spirit Weeks and much more!” said Angelica Delgadillo, Counselor Liaison in PED’s College and Career Readiness Bureau.

Teachers, leaders, relatives and other trusted adults are also encouraged to talk to prospective students about why they decided to apply to college and to share their motivation via social media using the hashtag #WhyApply. Those interested in sharing their story on social media can download the template online here, print it out and upload their photo to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

New Mexicans can search for colleges and universities, find links to apply, and learn more about the New Mexico Opportunity and lottery scholarships at

About the New Mexico Higher Education Department:

The New Mexico Higher Education Department was established in 2005 and oversees the state’s public and tribal colleges, universities and special schools. It also oversees statewide adult education and literacy programs, administers state-funded financial assistance programs and capital projects for higher education institutions, provides college preparatory services through the GEAR UP program, and issues state licenses to private colleges operating in New Mexico. For more information visit

The New Mexico Public Education Department works with educators, communities, and families to ensure all students are healthy, identity-secure, and fully prepared for college, careers, and life. NMPED currently serves more than 317,000 students in 187 districts and charter schools. Find a wealth of resources for administrators, educators, families and students at New Mexico Department of Education ( or continue to follow the NMPED Facebook and Twitter.

The New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation (NMEAF) is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1981 by the New Mexico State Legislature.

We believe that post-secondary education, be it a technical certification or an academic degree, is the most important investment a person can make. We actively promote higher education in all of New Mexico’s school districts and provide financial planning resources to fund higher education. We facilitate community outreach programs and events to serve low-income, first generation and other disadvantaged groups in New Mexico. learn more about how we help NM and our foundation programs for educational assistance in New Mexico.