With Millennium Scholarship’s long-term funding in jeopardy, students need to pursue additional avenues for affording college

Nevada State High School pays for two full years of college tuition, books; NSHS students also qualify for Millennium Scholarship

HENDERSON, Nev. – While the $4.2 million needed to fund the Millennium Scholarship for the next fiscal year was secured, the scholarship’s ability to stay funded long-term is unclear.

Therefore, high school students and their parents should begin planning for the “what if” now, says Nevada State High School, which allows high school juniors and seniors to earn up to two years of college for free.

TIPS (FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS) FOR AFFORDING A COLLEGE EDUCATION

1. Research your college of choice and determine what it will cost to earn a four-year degree at that institution.

 2. Meet with your guidance counselor early on to discuss scholarships that are available annually at your college of choice. Understanding the requirements for relevant scholarships early allows students adequate time to meet the requirements.

3. Learn how to properly complete a scholarship application – before you begin applying for scholarships. (Fill out a free application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov/) to see what options you have for paying and borrowing for college.

4. Find out what opportunities are available for cutting down on college expenses while you’re still in high school. Options include dual credit programs, early college programs, AP classes and more.

5. Find out from your college of choice which student positions include “payment” of waived credits and identify a position to strive for. (For example, the editor of the student newspaper or a student senator may have the cost of six credits per semester waived.)

6. To avoid taking more college classes than necessary, find out what courses satisfy more than one of your degree requirements, and enroll in those courses.

“It’s never too early to create a plan for paying for college,” said Dr. Wendi Hawk, principal for NSHS.

Hawk added that, in the past, many students would turn to their parents for college assistance. However, with the country in the midst of its worst recession in years, an increasing number of parents can no longer afford to foot the bill. (According to www.collegeboard.com, the average cost of attending a public four-year college is approximately $7,000 per year.)

NSHS pays for each of its students to take up to 15 college credits per semester, for up to two years (based on incoming juniors). NSHS pays for the entire cost of students’ tuition – which totals several thousands of dollars in savings on its own – but also pays for textbooks and fees. Students who attend NSHS can also still qualify for the Millennium Scholarship.

Furthermore, to ensure students’ success to the best of its ability, the college also helps students navigate through the college environment and students are taught how to find scholarships, apply for them, and how to write the essays for them.

Incoming high school juniors and seniors enrolled at Southern Nevada public and private schools are eligible to apply for NSHS as long as they have completed 11 high school credits and have a 2.0 GPA. Once accepted into the school, NSHS works with students on their college curriculum and personally enrolls students into college courses that work together with the Clark County School District high school coursework in order for students to receive dual credit for both high school and college courses. NSHS also works with students to keep them active in their zoned high school’s extracurricular activities to ensure that students don’t miss out on traditional high school experiences.

This spring, NSHS graduated 92 students – 100 percent of its senior class – and, since opening its doors in 2004 and its first graduating class in 2005, the school has graduated more than 400 students. Enrollment in NSHS is open through Aug. 13.

Applications and additional information on Nevada State High School can be found online at www.earlycollegenv.com or by calling 702-953-2600.

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