College Grants Target Low-Income Students

Aug 27, 2015

Commencement at the University of Nevada, Reno. Photo from www.unr.edu.

Nevada has one of the lowest rates of college graduates in the nation. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports the Nevada System of Higher Education is providing more money to low-income students to fix that problem.

Less than a third of adults in Nevada between the ages of 25 and 34 have an associate’s degree or higher in 2012. That’s 10 percent less than the national average.  

“One of the challenges that Nevada faces is that right now if you look at the college participation rates for students from low-income families, we have one of the lowest participation rate in the country,” Crystal Abba says. 

Abba is with the Nevada System of Higher Education or NSHE. She says the new Silver State Opportunity Grant Program was set up to make college more affordable to poor students.

“As a state, we have very aggressive goals for increasing our degree productivity," Abba Says. "We can’t get there unless we make sure that low-income students have access to higher education.”

The Nevada legislature approved a $5 million budget for the next two academic years. Eligible college students receive grants that range from $200 to about $5,000 for the school year. The state’s goal is to eventually have 60 percent of the population attain college degrees by 2020.