Nevada Student Loans

earning a college degreeAccording 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:

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% of students receive some form of financial aid.

Borrowing Student Loans

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 is one main federal loan programs: the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.  Compared to private loans, this federal lending programs has better loan interest rates and favorable repayment terms. 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% of the current $1.2 trillion student debt in America, and 97% 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.