High school juniors, seniors take college credits while completing high school
HENDERSON, Nev. – Every year, tuition costs rise and graduating seniors wonder how they will pay for their higher education. Not all students are fortunate enough to find scholarships, and a lot of the time those scholarships only cover a portion of their college fees, leaving many families to take out loans and increase debt. All too many decide they simply can’t afford a college education and end up giving up on their dreams, opting instead for a job that doesn’t require a degree – something that has become especially easy in places like Nevada.
For Southern Nevada students, Nevada State High School (NSHS) offers hope, as it allows students to attend their first two years of college for free while they finish high school with a savings of as much as $14,000, a statistic reported by www.collegeboard.com.
NSHS, located in Henderson, works with incoming juniors and seniors on their college curriculum and personally enrolls students into college courses that work together with the current state of Nevada high school requirements. As a result, students receive high school and college credits for the classes they take and can graduate from high school with an associate’s degree or with most of their general education courses completed for their bachelor’s degree.
“Students have the ability to get ahead of other students their age and achieve impressive results in the process,” said Dr. Wendi Hawk, principal of NSHS. “Nevada State High School is free to attend, so students don’t have to worry about paying college tuition or textbook fees. By approaching high school education in this manner, we aim to significantly increase Nevada’s high school and college graduation rates.”
According to www.collegeboard.com, the average cost of attending a public four-year college is approximately $7,000. This fall, it will cost students, on average, 4.5 percent more to attend private and public colleges and universities nationwide, according to a survey of 500 members of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Nevada students are no different as the University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas listed at No. 14 and No. 38, respectively, on Forbes’ current list of the nation’s largest public universities at risk for tuition increase.
To promote students’ success, NSHS requires them to take transition courses to help integrate them personally, academically and socially into the college environment and touch base weekly with the high school’s advisors.
“Oftentimes college freshmen don’t succeed and end up dropping out because they haven’t been properly prepared for the college environment,” Hawk said. “That’s why NSHS stays closely involved in each student’s education from beginning to end. By the time our students graduate, they have been immersed in the college experience for two years and are prepared to take on their final two years of a four-year degree.”
This spring, NSHS graduated 92 students – 100 percent of its senior class – and, since opening its doors in 2003, 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.