Tuition-Free Community College in Nevada: A Guide

Tuition-Free Community College in Nevada: A Guide
Campus is the new alternative to online community college that provides a 100% live and online Associate of Arts in Business Administration degree program. We’re on a mission to maximize access to a world-class education, starting with our career-focused business program that equips students from across the U.S. with a solid foundation in core business principles to set them up for success no matter what their next step is.

Community colleges have put significant effort into providing accessible education to students. These institutions offer a solution to multiple concerns that students face when it comes to accessing higher education, such as financial aid, commuting issues, and flexibility. In Nevada, free community college initiatives alleviate the financial burden for many students, making higher education more accessible.

Similarly, tuition-free community college in Nevada helps reduce the long-term costs of getting a degree. The availability of free community college in Nevada not only reduces financial strain but also broadens the horizons of education for individuals across the state. Above that, the opportunity to access higher education is more distributed because of community college programs like that of the free ones in the state. Nevada's free community college programs ensure that education is not a privilege limited to a select few but a right accessible to all residents.

This article will serve as a guide to tuition-free community college in Nevada so you can explore affordable options to earn your degree and advance your education.

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Free Community College in Nevada: Nevada Promise Scholarship

For Nevada high school graduates planning to enroll in community college, the Nevada Promise Scholarship award, created by the state's legislature, is a last-dollar award that can pay for up to three years' worth of tuition and other required costs not covered by other aid.

Before we dive further into the scholarship, it’s important to understand how much is community college in general, and more specifically, the average cost of community college in Nevada.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • In-state tuition for a typical community college in Nevada is $3,170.
  • Out-of-state tuition is $10,150.

According to the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Nevada Promise Scholarship Report, in 2018-19, the number of students awarded the aid was 812. And, in 2021-22, the number has increased to 1,238. The implementation of free community college in Nevada has seen a steady rise in enrollment numbers, with more students benefiting from this initiative each year.

There is no maximum award for the Nevada Promise Scholarship, so as long as funds are available and you qualify, you should be able to get your community college education covered. If you're considering higher education options, exploring the availability of free community college in Nevada can significantly impact your decision-making process.

To learn more about free community college programs in the United States, check out our most recent guide.

Eligibility Criteria & How to Apply

Below are the eligibility criteria to receive the Nevada Promise scholarship:

Applicants must:

  • Be a resident of Nevada.
  • Possess a high school graduation from a Nevada high school or the equivalent (such as a GED).
  • Have been under the age of 20 when they graduated from high school.
  • Not have an associate or bachelor's degree.
  • Not be in default on any federal student loans nor owe any money to a federal student aid program.

In order to apply, applicants must

  • Prior to the deadline, complete and submit the Nevada Promise Scholarship application before the end of October in their senior year of high school.
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Note that the FAFSA is a free application that helps the state determine your eligibility for the scholarship. When applying for the scholarship, include the intended participating schools and the right school code in your application.
  • Enroll in an approved Nevada community college as a full-time student (at least 12 credits per semester) during the fall semester after high school graduation.

Scholarship recipients are often required to complete a specific amount of community service hours and participate in mentor meetings, as indicated by their institution.

Also, different schools have different application requirements. Therefore, to ensure that you get selected, research all the requirements thoroughly, and don’t assume each school will have the same dates or criteria to maintain the scholarship each year.

Key yearly deadlines for the program include:

Date Requirement
October 31* Submit the Nevada Promise Application
December 30 Attend at least one training session provided by the institution
April 1 Submit the FAFSA to determine your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)
April 30 Meet with your assigned mentor at least once, complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service, and meet other requirements for aid as needed by your school

*Of the applicant’s senior year of high school.

The Nevada Promise Scholarship Mentor Program

The Nevada Promise Scholarship Mentoring program is an important part of the Nevada Promise Scholarship, providing students with a trusted adviser who helps them accomplish their goals.

The four colleges in Nevada that provide these mentorship programs are

  • College of Southern Nevada (CSN)
  • Great Basin College (GBC)
  • Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC)
  • Western Nevada College (WNC)

All of the colleges listed above have mentors that contribute to the success of Nevada Promise Scholarship recipients as they attend community college. They provide emotional support to the students so they can take ownership of their education and improve their chances of finding success in their experience at school. Apart from traditional campus-based education, online community colleges in Nevada offer flexible learning options for students seeking to balance education with other commitments.

With the scholarship award plus the free mentoring program, the Nevada Promise Scholarship program proves to be an excellent option for those seeking tuition-free community college in Nevada. For individuals unable to attend traditional campus-based programs, online community colleges in Nevada offer a viable alternative to access tuition-free education.

The Nevada Guarantee

While the Nevada Guarantee is not a free community college program, it is an initiative for Nevada residents admitted to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to help them obtain a degree without owing any debt to the institutions – for that reason, we’re including the significant scholarship program here for Nevada residents. In addition to traditional campus-based education, online community colleges in Nevada provide avenues for individuals to pursue higher education without the financial burden.

The Nevada Guarantee provides all necessary academic and social support to graduate in four years or fewer, in addition to the full cost of tuition, fees, and textbooks.

Now you might be wondering: should I go to community college first, then transfer?

It may be a great idea to take advantage of a free community college program in Nevada before transferring to an institution that also offers an impactful financial aid program like that of UNR!

Exploring the possibility of enrolling in online community colleges in Nevada before transferring to a four-year institution can provide a seamless transition while maximizing financial aid opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria & How to Apply

To be eligible for the Nevada Guarantee, you must

  • Be admitted to the University of Nevada, Reno, as a resident of Nevada.
  • Pursue 30 credits of full-time study each year at the school.
  • Before February 15, submit the FAFSA or an Institutional Methodology form.
  • When filling out the Institutional Methodology form, receive a Pell Grant or meet the eligibility requirements for a Pell Grant.
  • Plan to earn one bachelor's degree.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Between October 1 and February 1, submit the FAFSA or Institutional Methodology for FAFSA-Ineligible Students form and choose the University of Nevada, Reno, to receive your information. You need to do this every year to continue to determine your eligibility for the scholarship.

Additionally, you’ll need to complete your financial aid file before June 1 (access this by checking your MyNEVADA account "To Do" list).

Read Campus's "Am I Eligible for a Pell Grant?" guide to learn more about the federal Pell Grant program.

Considering Community College?

If you're unable to access free community college in Nevada, exploring online community colleges in the state can provide affordable pathways to higher education. You still have options to earn a degree without taking on mountains of debt!

For instance, you can obtain an online associate degree in business at Campus, which can open the door to many lucrative careers in various industries.

The best part is that the tuition is below the maximum Federal Pell Grant award, so it is possible to complete your education without paying any out-of-pocket tuition costs if you qualify for full Pell.

To help with costs, Campus also provides a free laptop and Wi-Fi access for students who need it, as well as free e-textbook and tutoring access.

If you’re still wondering how to pay for community college without access to a free community college program from your state, Campus may be a great option for you. To know all the advantages you can get by enrolling in Campus, request more info today.

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