More New Mexicans will qualify for lottery-financed college scholarships under a measure heading to the Senate for consideration.
The House approved a proposal Monday on a 49-13 vote to extend the scholarships to students enrolling in a two-year college within two years of graduating from high school.
Currently, a high school student must enroll in a New Mexico public college or university the semester after graduation to receive a scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition.
Supporters of the proposal said some students aren't prepared to enter college immediately after high school.
The measure also makes scholarships available to New Mexicans enrolling in college within two years — rather than one year currently — of being honorably discharged from the military if they had joined right after high school.