Nevada Student Loans
As home to Las Vegas, Nevada needs little introduction, but few people may know that Nevada is the 7th largest state in the US, with its capital located in Carson City. The population is not dense; despite its size, Nevada is the 35th most populated state. Locals are called “Nevadans,” and the main industries that help to support them are tourism, mining for silver and gold, and hydroelectric power. Nevada is unique in that five states border it: California, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, and Utah. As anyone can imagine, the close proximity of these other states drives traffic to Nevada, including students.
According to College Stats, there are over 50 colleges, universities, and technical schools in Nevada. Nevada runs a public higher education system that includes the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Truckee Meadows Community College, and the College of Southern Nevada. Private schools include Sierra Nevada College, Morrison University, and the University of Southern Nevada. In addition, there are specialized schools such as The Art Institute of Las Vegas. Whatever subject a prospective student is seeking to study, a Nevadan school can accommodate. When considering which school in Nevada is the right one, national ranking may be a factor to consider.
Newsmax identifies the following Nevada institutions of higher learning among the very best in the state:
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas: Founded in 1957, this school is now best known for its large student body and the popularity of its engineering, English, and hospitality programs.
- Nevada State College, Henderson Started in 2002, this college quickly rose through the ranks to preeminence, especially for its School of Nursing, School of Education, and School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- Great Basin College A state-of-the-art college, students may pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree.
- Everest College With multiple locations, this school is particularly attractive to future professionals in law and law enforcement, as it offers courses in paralegal studies and criminal justice.
- College of Southern Nevada One of the largest schools in Nevada, there are over 200 programs on offer, leading to either an associate or bachelor’s degree.
In view of its ranking, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas requires a closer look. Invariably, many students interested in attending school in Nevada will consider applying to this school. According to Forbes, the university has an undergraduate population of 22,429 and a generous admission rate of 85 percent. In terms of SAT admission criteria, most admitted students fall within the 890-1110 range.
As the university is public, there is a difference in tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state attendees at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. As Forbes reports, in-state tuition is $6,690 and out-of-state is $20,600. The good news is that 92 percent of students receive some form of financial aid.
Navigating the student loan maze can seem daunting at first blush. At the outset, it is critical to understand that all financial aid begins the same way – by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and doing so before the published deadline date. All schools that are approved to receive federal funding base their financial award packages on the information reported in the FAFSA. Student loans have two main sources, the federal government and private banks. For eligible students, the financial aid package will detail the amount of federal loans that can be borrowed. There are two main federal loan programs: the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program. Compared to private loans, both federal lending programs have a better loan interest rate and favorable repayment terms. It is important to note that the Perkins Loan will only be offered, as available, to students who demonstrate exceptional need.Based on information on the Nevada System of Higher Education, it does not appear that the state of Nevada has a special student lending program. Like other states, Nevada schools rely largely on the availability of federal funds to assist students. While there are state scholarship and grant opportunities for students, when it comes to student loans, students will be limited to the federal program, private lending options, and institutional loans from the college itself (usually only in cases of emergency and limited to the school’s specific lending policies). Regarding borrowing private loans, students are advised to only borrow the amount needed for purposes of study (i.e., not for clothes or a spring break vacation). Some industry experts advise students to cap all borrowing, from all sources, at $5,000 per year; however, not all students will feasibly be able to adhere to this advice. Another way to determine at what amount to cap borrowing is to research salaries and being employed in careers relevant to the student’s intended course of study. It is also important to be informed about the reality of borrowing private student loans. As the Consumer Banker Association discusses, private student loans are only 8 percent of the current $1.2 trillion student debt in America, and 97 percent of these loans are successfully in repayment. However, part of the reason for the success of these loans may be that private banks impose stricter repayment terms than the federal government. In some cases, students with financial hardship who are in repayment may be opting to pay their private loans and go into deferment on their federal loans. The best practice is to borrow private loans only as a last resort, once all other sources of funding college have been exhausted.
Regarding institutional loans, meaning the school itself is the lender, again this option is usually only available in emergency situations. For example, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas offers an emergency loan for current students, but the amount is limited to $650 and usually must be repaid within 30 days. Often, alumni or other benefactors fund these loans in order to provide current students with a small safety net in the event of an emergency. This type of lending should never be factored into how to pay for college.