Known for its bright lights and big risks, Nevada is proving it has a lot to offer when it comes to higher education, too.
The Nevada System of Higher Education is working hard to develop specific goals and metrics that will improve access to education and student success, help close the achievement gap and help meet the needs of the workforce in the future.
The state of Nevada is highly committed to these goals and to improving the opportunities available to its residents.
Overview of Higher Education in Nevada
Nevada is home to 23 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of these, 7 are public, 5 are non-profit private schools, and 11 are for-profit private schools.
The NCES reports that attending one of the state’s 4-year public institutions, it will cost residents approximately $5,485, Those coming from out of state will pay close to $21,125. These tuition rates are thousands below the national averages, and among the lowest in the nation.
Residents in western states will get an especially good deal, thanks to Nevada’s membership in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). WICHE’s Student Exchange Program allows students to enroll at colleges located within the 16 participating states and territories for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
About Online Colleges in Nevada
According to the NCES, in 2018, 12.4% of undergraduate students in Nevada were enrolled in fully online degree programs. An additional 26.7% were enrolled in hybrid programs that combined online and on-campus learning. Those numbers have continued to rise as schools have increased their online offerings.
Today, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) offers 14 online degree and certificate programs, in fields such as education, engineering, nursing and more. There are 300 online and hybrid courses offered each semester.
Through their “365 Learning” program, University of Nevada, Reno offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and graduate certificate programs that allow students to earn credit year-round and around the clock.
Private schools have online opportunities as well. Sierra Nevada College (SNC), a private non-profit liberal arts school, offers fully online bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Global Business Management, and a number of fully online and hybrid graduate degree programs in the education field.
The state even has a non-profit online-only university, Western Governors University (WGU Nevada). WGU offers online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, information technology, education, and healthcare. Programs are competency-based, allowing students to move at their own pace. Students receive support from personal mentors, and have access to online learning modules, electronic textbooks, web-based tutorials and simulations.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Nevada
If you are thinking about attending a college or university in Nevada, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will provide access to federal, state and private financial aid.
It’s important to fill out your application as soon as possible, because many funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis. The application becomes available each year on October 1st.
The FAFSA application will include questions about income, assets, taxes and other financial matters for you and your parents (unless you’re considered “independent”). The information you provide will be used to determine how much and what type of financial aid you are eligible for.
In addition to federal financial aid, the state of Nevada offers two grant programs to help residents afford higher education. Both programs are tied to college savings plans.
- Silver State Matching Grant Program – Requires an SSgA Upromise 529 account; Beneficiary must be 13 or younger at the time of approval for the first matching grant; Household must have an adjusted gross income under $74,999; Program will match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $300 per year / $1500 total
- USAA Distinguished Valor Matching Grant Program – Available to children of any active member of the US Armed Forces; Must have a USAA 529 College Savings Plan account; Two variations:
- Category A – Account holder must be in the military, on active duty, and have an adjusted gross income under $95,000; Beneficiary must be under 13 years old
- Category B – Account holder must have earned a Purple Heart during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, and beneficiary must be his/her spouse or child
Additionally, Nevada residents may apply for private scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on any number of factors, including academic or athletic achievements, intended major, geographic region, hobbies or interests, and so on.
Here are a few scholarships available to students in Nevada:
|Scholarship Name||Details||Scholarship amount|
|Bruce Fishkin Scholarship||For high school seniors in certain areas of Connecticut, Illinois, and in or around Las Vegas; Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher; Must have an ACT score of 22 or higher, or SAT score of 1100 or higher
|Up to full cost of tuition, room and board, books, and supplies|
|Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship||Must have graduated high school with a GPA of 3.25 or higher OR receive an ACT score of 21 or higher OR receive a combined reading, writing and math SAT score of 1070 or higher; Must have completed minimum core curriculum requirements as listed||Up to $10,000|
|TFMJF Advancement of Women in Sports & Entertainment Scholarship||For female undergraduates studying public relations, communications, media studies, marketing or journalism with a desire to work in the entertainment or sports industry; Must demonstrate financial need; Must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher||(8) $1000|
|Horatio Alger State Scholarship||For high school seniors who have faced and overcome great obstacles; Must demonstrate financial need; Must be involved in co-curricular and community service activities; Must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher||Up to $10,000|
|Gordon Lymbery, PhD Memorial Scholarship||For graduates of a northern Nevada high school; Must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher; Must have an ACT score of 22 or higher, or SAT score of 1000 or higher||Up to $1000|
And that’s just a sampling! You can find many more scholarship opportunities by using search sites such as Fastweb.com, where you will enter basic information and be matched with dozens of scholarships you can apply for.
Finally, be sure to check with the financial aid office at the school you have chosen. They will be able to tell you about any additional financial aid opportunities that are exclusive to the school.
List of Online Colleges in Nevada
|Online Colleges in Nevada||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Great Basin College||Elko, Nevada||$2,910||Regional||$10|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, Nevada||$2,910||Regional||$10|
|University of Nevada – Las Vegas||Las Vegas, Nevada||$7,183||Regional||$60|
|University of Nevada – Reno||Reno, Nevada||$7,142||Regional||$60|
When it comes to higher education in Nevada, it’s no gamble.
Whether you head to campus at one of the state’s 23 colleges and universities, or you enroll as an online student and study anywhere, anytime, you can bet you will receive an excellent education.