Roderigo Padilla
SOCORRO, N.M., March 21, 2002 -- New Mexico Tech has boosted the upper limits on the school's top three merit-based scholarships by at least $1,000, making the state-supported research university's scholarship programs one of the best available anywhere when associated costs of attendance are factored into nationwide comparisons.

New Mexico Tech's top scholarship for first-time students, the Gold Scholarship, was raised by $1,000 to a $6,000 per year limit, as was the university's second-tier scholarship, the Silver Scholarship, which was boosted to a $5,000 per year limit.

Meanwhile, the amount of money awarded to first-time students receiving Presidential Scholarships at Tech also was raised by $1,300 to a new limit of $4,000 per year.

Amounts for New Mexico Tech's various scholarships for transfer students also were hiked, with $2,500 more now available for Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship recipients ($6,000 per year) and $1,500 more for Transfer Excel Scholarships, which top off at $5,000 per year.

"When we decided to raise the dollar amounts for all our scholarships, we did so with the goal of making the scholarships on the transfer side and the first-time student side equal in terms of dollar amounts," says Roderigo M. Padilla, financial aid counselor and scholarship coordinator at New Mexico Tech's Financial Aid Office.

"We thought that implementing this type of approach to boosting our scholarships would be especially important in making New Mexico Tech more attractive to students who are financing their own education and are concerned with getting the best value for their money," Padilla adds.

The cost of attending New Mexico Tech -- tuition, fees, and room and board--runs about $6,800 per academic year, Padilla notes; and, when the New Mexico Lottery Success Scholarship is "stacked" on top of their merit-based scholarships, Tech students who attend on Gold Scholarships often find themselves in the enviable position of having 115 percent of their costs of attendance paid for strictly by scholarship monies.

"New Mexico Tech adds the money from Lottery Scholarships right on top of any other scholarships an in-state student might be receiving," Padilla says. "We are the only one in the state that does that. . . . No other university, no other two-year college, no other junior college does that -- just us."

Padilla also points out that most of New Mexico Tech's scholarships are either entirely supported or matched by monies made available through one of the university's larger endowment funds, a fortunate situation in which most public universities don't often find themselves.

"Judging from all the information that I've seen, I can say without reservation that New Mexico Tech now has one of the best scholarship programs in the country, especially when you compare the relatively low costs associated with attending Tech," Padilla asserts.