College Readiness Information  


To learn more about college admissions, financial aid applications, scholarships and careers click here.  


FAFSA Fast Facts


  • The Free Applicantion for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required by virtually all colleges and universities and are used to determine a student's eligibility for nearly all types of federal, state, and college sponsored aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.
  • Errors and omissions on the FAFSA often result in processing delays, which in addition to resulting in missed deadlines, cause countless students each year to miss out on all or part of the financial aid to which they might otherwise be entitled often amounting to thousands of dollars in lost assistance.
  • FAFSAs that are submitted electronically are typically processed within three days after all signature requirements have been met. Paper applications that are mailed can take up to three weeks.
  • Financial aid, particularly grants and other forms of college sponsored aid and assistance, is awarded on a first-come, first served basis. The earlier you submit your FAFSA after January 1st each year, the better your chances of receiving consideration for the maximum amount of available financial aid for which you may be eligible.
  • The Department of Education advises that it typically takes parents and students 1-2 hours to complete a FAFSA on their own, and complications can add significantly to this time.
  • Individual state and school FAFSA submission deadlines vary widely and are often earlier than the Department of Education FAFSA submission deadlines.
  • Many state and school deadlines fall before the IRS tax filing deadline. The FAFSA may be completed using estimated tax information if a tax return has not been filed. There is no penalty for estimating your income, but you must make any necessary adjustments once your taxes are complete.
  • Even if you don't qualify for need-based financial aid, you must still complete a FAFSA to be considered for most federal student loans.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students must complete and submit a new FAFSA each school year to be considered for most forms of financial aid.




"America's prosperity has always rested on how well we educate our children - but never more so than today."
--President Barack Obama

GEAR UP New Mexico  




Students from Grants School District visit the New Mexico State Capitol during the 2014 Legislative Session. They also had the opportunity to serve as pages for the Speaker of the House, Ken Martinez.




Los Lunas High School students also toured the Legislature and served as pages. They were able to see how our state's policies and laws are created and passed.


NMHED's Website Goes Live  

 The New Mexico Higher Education Department's (NMHED) website is now live. Please visit to access information about NMHED.  GEAR UP New Mexico's webpage can be accessed through the NMHED's website. Our intent is for students, parents, school district and GEAR UP NM staff to find useful information on these pages that will connect them to college access programs and special events.


We hope you use the new site and encourage others to visit it as well. Click here to visit GEAR UP NM's website.  



Coronado High School GEAR UP Student of  the Month




Savannah Schmidt, a senior at Coronado High School,  is an excellent student who works tirelessly in the classroom and in her community. She is committed to her education and serves as a role model to other students. "Being involved in the GEAR UP/AVID class has been beneficial to me, especially as a senior," she said. "In class, we have been busy applying for scholarships and colleges, as well as learning about financial aid, budgeting, and also learning some great note taking strategies, Cornell style. AVID also allows me the time to not only fill out applications, but it has given me the guidance to keep them organized." Schmidt said she appreciates the GEAR UP class because she finds time to research and apply for colleges, as well as work on other college readiness skills. "GEAR UP has helped me realize the importance of college, as well as how to overcome the struggles to get there," she said. "GEAR UP is a great program here at Coronado Mid/High school, with an excellent teacher who supports and encourages all students to achieve their goals."






 Del Norte Credit Union Scholarship


Applications for the 2014-2015 Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU) Scholarship are now being accepted through March 15, 2014.


General Scholarship Information
Del Norte Credit Union has established a scholarship program to assist credit union members who are high school seniors and plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. Scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited institution of the student's choice. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability or national origin.


Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
* Be a member of Del Norte Credit Union prior to the application deadline.
* Be a high school senior.
* Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire academic year.
* Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent).

If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a one-time award of $1,000. Up to seven (7) awards will be granted.



Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations, unusual personal or family circumstances, and an outside appraisal. Submitted essays are not part of the selection process. Financial need is not considered. Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship Management Services. In no instance does any officer or employee of the Del Norte Credit Union play a part in the selection. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final. Only recipients will be notified in late April. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients. Click here to apply.  





High school students who are planning to enter college in 2015 can now apply for a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Council Scholarship, which awards $1,000 for each qualifying student. Applications are available at

Those applying must write an essay based on an image on the application form.

Students should express their understanding of civil rights, diversity and community, along with describing how King's messages continue to influence society and themselves.

Submit applications before Sept. 9 to P.O. Box 40306, Albuquerque, NM 87196. Students also must notify Jewel Hall at when they have applied.




Zia Credit Union's Education Foundation was originally conceived in 1999 with the goal of raising funds to make Educational Scholarships available to our members. Since that time, we have presented over $174,000 in Merit Scholarships in the categories of Academics, Leadership, and Special Achievement.

Last year, we were very pleased to be able to contribute to the future of our youth of Northern New Mexico by providing $25,000 in scholarships to 25 seniors from our local area high schools. We sincerely congratulate and wish much success for the future of all our recipients, and hope that they reach the educational goals they have set for themselves!


Please be sure to fill in all information and follow all instructions carefully! Use the Check List in the Instruction Brochure to ensure you include all the requested materials to avoid disqualification! Good luck to all our 2014 entries. Click here for application.


















New Mexico Higher Education Department
 GEAR UP New Mexico
2048 Galisteo St.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

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