Across the U.S., in-state tuition at public institutions has more than tripled in the past 30 years, according to the College Board Advocacy and Public Policy Center. The Battle-Born State is no exception to these rising costs. The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) says many local students take advantage of federal aid to help fund their educations. In 2010-11, 84 percent of grants to NHSE students were from federal sources, compared with 46 percent nationally.
Additionally, Nevada high school graduates considering college in state have another option: The Merit-based Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship. It’s available to qualified students who will attend one of nine eligible Nevada institutions.
NSHE says about 43 percent of the Class of 2011 met the following requirements:
More than half of those who qualified in 2011 took advantage of the Millennium Scholarship.
Alexia Shurmur will be a junior at the University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV) this fall. She has kept costs low by choosing an affordable housing arrangement—living with family. Her income as editor-in-chief of UNLV’s student newspaper helps fill the gas tank—a cost of about $50 per week—for her 60-mile round-trip commute. She also saves money on books and software, by using price comparison websites such as booksprice.com.
Parents, too, can do several important things to help.
Ryan Berglund, an Allstate Personal Financial Representative in North Las Vegas, says parents who keep their finances in order—possibly buying life insurance and setting up a 529 plan—and who encourage, listen, and teach students to manage their own money, can give their children a leg up in the race toward college aspirations.
“Kids should be kids. However, students need to go to class, get great grades, and apply for grants and scholarships,” Berglund says.
Financial planning instruments, plus advances in online learning, make Berglund optimistic that students and families will find ways to make all the numbers add up.
Allstate Agent Ryan Berglund is based in North Las Vegas. Address: 6885 Aliante Parkway, Ste. 102, North Las Vegas, NV 89084. Phone: (702) 900-8788