New Mexicans achieve college dreams
of Student Financial Aid Ron Martinez says times
a wastin to turn in financial aid applications.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is due
March 1 for UNM, but the earlier students submit their applications,
the greater likelihood that sufficient funds will still be available.
funds, like Pell grants and direct student loans, dont
run out, but other financial aid options have limited funds,
has been director at UNM since 1997, the same year the Lottery
Success Scholarship was established. His office took on both
the lottery and bridge scholarships in 1998. Until then, the
Financial Aid and Scholarship Offices had been separate entities
but they were combined again in 2002.
a result of the lottery scholarship program, the number of incoming
freshmen at UNM skyrocketed, he said. The freshman class
in 1996-97 was approximately 1,600. The following year it rose
to 2,150 and by 1998-99, it was up to 2,700. Only about
300 to 400 of those new freshman each year are non-residents.
We potentially have about 1,900 new freshman trying to become
eligible for the lottery scholarship next semester.
said that the lottery scholarship represented a little less
than $10 million in financial aid to UNM this past year.
We award approximately $125 million in financial aid annually.
The lottery scholarship program only represents eight percent
of the total, but it is a significant eight percent, he
said the rules might be changing for students applying for the
Lottery Success Scholarship. The Commission on Higher Education
is looking to require lottery scholarship students to submit
a FAFSA. The final decision likely rests with the New Mexico
Legislature, he said, and although, if passed, it may require
another level of bureaucracy, it could become a good decision.
financial aid can help students cover additional expenses, such
as fees, books, transportation, and room and board, he
aid could also help students who dont maintain the 2.5
GPA required for the lottery scholarship. Students can
continue on need-based financial aid with a 2.0 GPA, he
grew up in Greeley, Colo., but claims New Mexico roots. My
parents are from Cebolla, near Tierra Amarilla, he said.
holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University
of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, and served as their director
of financial aid in the early 1980s. He then worked as financial
aid director at Western Washington University. Before coming
to New Mexico he worked for The College Board, based out of
San Jose, Calif.
his wife, Yvonne, that they would stay put for awhile because
of their daughter, Alexis, now a fifth grader at Dennis Chavez
Elementary School. Also, Yvonne deserves to build up her
own retirement, he said. She is the assistant registrar
at Albuquerque TVI.
still thinks ahead. Hes enrolled in a doctoral program
in Educational Leadership through the College of Education.
His long-term goals include moving up in university administration.
I see lots of turnover in higher education in the next
decade, he said.
doesnt wait for deadlines. Hes ahead of the game.