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New Mexico boosts its free college program, at least for now

Free College New Mexico
Cedar Attanasio/AP
/
AP
High school senior Cruz Davis-Martinez speaks with fellow students at the New Mexico School for the Arts on Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. Davis Martinez stands to benefit from a $85 million program to make college free for state residents if he attends the University of New Mexico. The program was funded mostly with one-time federal aid, leaving supporters concerned about how long the state can sustain it. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Flush with tax revenues and federal aid, many U.S. states are increasing support for free college programs. Experts say the expansion of a program in New Mexico could serve as a model, with flexible attendance requirements and generous financial aid. It covers tuition and fees for all students. Paired with federal grants, it can pay gas or rent for low-income students. The program allows adults to pursue a four-year degree, even if they haven't been in school for a while. The $75 million program is funded mostly with one-time federal aid, leaving supporters concerned about how long the state can sustain the program.