NMCAN Summer Bridge

The College Enrichment Program (CEP) is responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation, and coordinator of student support services and activities that are designed to assist CEP students’ academic achievement and their personal, cultural, and social development.  This commitment extends to young adults who have experienced foster care and are continuing their education at UNM.

CEP is happy to be a single point of contact for students who have experienced foster care to navigate life at the University of New Mexico with academics, financial aid and funding, personal issues, getting connected to community organizations, meals and housing, and any other concerns you might have.

Please contact Trinidad Mendoza via email at tmendoz1@unm.edu or make an appointment by calling (505) 277-5321. CEP is located in Mesa Vista Hall in Room 3011 on the third floor.

Below you will find information and resources for UNM students who have experienced foster care, including tuition waivers and scholarships.

Resources at UNM

Upward Bound - College Preparation for High School Students

If you attend high school in the Albuquerque metro area, consider applying for Upward Bound at UNM! Upward Bound offers rigorous academic support to college-bound high school students in grades 9 through 12 and visits to universities across the country. Summer school, tutoring, cultural events, and mentoring are just some of the services Upward Bound provides before you make the jump to college. To apply, you can download the application in English or Spanish.

NM Senate Bill 206 - Waiving Tuition and Fees for Foster Care Youth

On March 10, 2014, Governor Susana Martinez signed NM Senate Bill 206. This bill prohibits public higher education institutions in New Mexico from charging tuition and fees for young adults who have experienced foster care or been in the legal custody of a New Mexico Indian nation, tribe, or pueblo and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Youth who will age out of foster care on their 18th birthday; or
  • Youth who were adopted after their 16th birthday; or
  • Youth who were in foster care on the day they graduated from high school or received their GED; or
  • Youth who were in foster care on after their 14th birthday and whose parents’ rights were relinquished or terminated at that time.

In order to receive the tuition waiver benefit, you must contact your case manager at CYFD (Child, Youth, and Families Department) and have a letter or written statement that you were in foster care. Once you have the signed letter, please bring it to Trinidad Mendoza in the College Enrichment Program (Mesa Vista Hall Building 56, Rm 3011 on the third floor). The letters will get scanned and forwarded to the Registrar. If any additional information is needed at that point, you will be notified by the Registrar’s office.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Funds

ETV funds, provided by the federal government and administered by individual states, are available to eligible youth to assist them in obtaining post-secondary education or vocational training. The ETV program assists eligible youth with up to $5,000 per year. ETV will not cover expenses already paid by scholarships, grants, loans, work-study, etc.  The CEP office is happy to help you obtain the forms and information necessary to qualify for this assistance.ETV funds can be used for:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Room and board
  • Required residential study
  • Books, supplies, and lab expenses
  • Study abroad fees and expenses
  • Rental or purchase of required equipment and supplies
  • Dependent care expenses (e.g., childcare expenses)
  • Transportation, driver’s education, auto insurance


Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship

UNM is a partner school of the Daniels Fund and CEP administers the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship (BOS), which is intended to help non-traditional students who demonstrate significant financial need as they invest in themselves through continued education. Visit our BOS website to learn more about the selection criteria and download the application.

Resources in the Community

Building Futures & Foundations

Building Futures & Foundations (BFF) is an innovative initiative of NMCAN, the New Mexico Child Advocacy Network, built on authentic youth engagement aiming to increase opportunities and improve the path for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. BFF supports young people in creating their own success and fulfilling their dreams by providing an array of interconnected opportunities for young people and community partners.

  • The Opportunity Passport and Financial Literacy Education The goal is to help young people be more successful in their transition to adulthood by helping them become financially capable, gain experience with the banking system, and obtain assets for education, housing, transportation, or other expenses required for a successful adult experience.
  • The Mentoring Projects The Mentoring Project's mission is to empower young people to make healthy choices for their own lives by providing one-on-one role-modeling, supportive guidance, and encouragement.
  • Youth Leadership Network: The Youth Leadership Network is a youth-led opportunity for young people to work together to make real and lasting changes in the foster care system and their community.
  • Community Partnership Network: The Community Partnership Network is a collaboration of community stakeholders working together with young people to increase opportunities for those transitioning from foster care to adulthood and to help make meaningful changes in the foster care system.
  • Education Advocacy: The Educational Advocacy project is for young people currently in or transitioning out of foster care who need support in obtaining their high school diploma or GED.
  • Community Door Openers: Community Door Openers are designed to connect young people to a variety of experiences and opportunities in the community that will "open doors" for personal, educational, and professional exploration and growth.

Youth in Foster Care Scholarship Program

Each year, the Youth in Foster Care Scholarship Program, administered by the Albuquerque Foundation, awards 1 to 3 scholarships of $2,000 each to students aging out of foster care at age 18 who want to develop a marketable skill or continue their education at a college or university.

Foster Care to Success

Foster Care to Success awards scholarships on a yearly basis, from $2,500 to $5,000, based on need and merit. Academic Success Coaching is also available to youth who are pursuing higher education.